Truck Cargo Accidents
Flatbed trucks transport thousands of pounds of cargo across America’s highways every day. Most of the time, operators complete this task dependably and safely, but sometimes cargo that’s improperly loaded, unsecured, or unbalanced leads to serious accidents.
If a trucking company overloads a trailer, distributes cargo unevenly, or uses faulty equipment to secure the load, cargo may fall off the trailer and cause an accident.
In more extreme cases, the flatbed can even be thrown off balance and flip over.
Cargo Accident Causes
Most commercial truck accidents involve a rig and flatbed colliding with another vehicle, but collisions sometimes occur when falling cargo strikes a vehicle or obstructs the roadway. Causes of cargo-related truck accidents include:
- Stacking cargo too high. In order to save money by making fewer trips, fleet companies tend to load as much cargo onto their trucks as possible. This reduces the cost of fuel, driver pay, and vehicle maintenance. However, cargo stacked too high can fall off a flatbed truck, striking or obstructing other vehicles.
- Failing to secure hazardous liquids. Trucks sometimes haul liquids that are hazardous or flammable. If the vessels holding these chemicals aren’t properly secured, their spillage onto the roadway may create a slippery surface that causes collisions. Worse, flammable liquids can catch fire, leading to devastating injuries and fatalities.
- Unbalanced cargo. Driving becomes far more difficult when cargo isn’t evenly distributed. Operators require more effort to turn, and stopping distances are lengthened. In the most extreme cases, unbalanced cargo can make safe turns impossible, causing rollovers, jackknife crashes, and other serious accidents.
- Faulty equipment. Truckers rely on several different types of equipment to secure their cargo, such as tie-downs, steel straps, and webbing. If these devices fail, cargo can fall or fly off the truck, striking other vehicles.
If you were injured in a cargo-related collision, you need professional representation by an experienced truck accident attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.