When analyzing large truck accidents, the main cause is often mechanical failure. However, such accidents often include some sort of avoidable driver error. A very common one is not properly securing cargo. This poses a huge risk of leading to catastrophic truck accidents, with fatal injuries and huge property damage being common as results.
Cargo Securing Federal Guidelines
In order to guarantee the safety of all motorists and prevent situations that could lead to huge accidents, the FMCSA created specific rules and regulations. Several guidelines are created to properly secure cargo inside larger trucks. The guidelines describe ways in which specific cargo types have to be secured so they do not shift or simply fall off.
Whenever cargo is imbalanced, shifts, or simply not properly secured, the truck’s center of gravity is modified. This increases the huge risk of a rollover or a devastating jackknife accident. Even a small road bump can lead to cargo falling off or becoming loose.
Not respecting FMCSA guidelines is a huge legal problem for the party at fault. Whenever this is suspected, it is very important to look for an unsecured cargo truck accident attorney capable of helping prove fault and establish negligence. This includes the proper use of cargo securement devices like cordage, tie-downs, steel straps, chains, shoring bars, and inflatable bags.
Cargo Securing Failure Types
Not securing cargo can happen because of several different errors. This includes things like:
- Not using enough securement options and devices.
- Using damaged, faulty, or worn-out securement devices.
- Improperly balancing or loading cargo, which drastically decreases how effective device securement is.
- Improperly using securement devices, usually in ways that were not planned.
- Overloading trucks with cargo, which drastically reduces the possibility of securing it in a way that is 100% safe. This also leads to disastrous equipment failures, like having a tire blowout, cause a huge car accident.
The Other Factors Influencing Unsecured Cargo
Besides the very common failure forms mentioned above when talking about securing cargo, there are several other very important factors that are less common and that lead to accidents. Some of those you should be aware of are:
- Truck drivers being inadequately trained on how to properly secure, balance, and load cargo, which is often the fault of the truck company.
- Truck drivers not properly inspecting cargo before a trip or during the trip. Remember that monitoring is also necessary during traveling so that potential cargo shifts can be detected and cargo securing remains confirmed.
- Transportation carriers that do not give drivers the securement devices necessary for the safe storage of cargo inside truck trailers.
- Transportation carriers that require the drivers to meet completely unrealistic deadlines or schedules. This would lead to the unwanted situation in which the truck driver is forced to take shortcuts as cargo is inspected or secured.
Liability In Unsecured Cargo Truck Accidents
If cargo is not secured properly, huge truck accidents and serious injuries appear. Several parties can be responsible for unsecured cargo and can be considered to be liable for having victims compensated for all losses and injuries. Some of the common liable parties are:
- Transportation carriers
- Warehouse workers
- Loading docks workers
- Truck drivers
- Securement device manufacturers