If you are involved in an accident involving a truck, your first question is often, “what was the cargo of the truck?” In most cases, the answer is not a simple one, as there are many factors that can play a part in a truck accident. But there are a few common factors that have been known to cause accidents with cargo, as well as some tips that will help you reduce your risk of a collision with cargo.
You may also want to read: what happens if the cargo of a truck causes an accident in Taylorsville, UT?
Changing cargo center of gravity
A recent crash involving a Douglas DC-8 piqued my interest. The aircraft was on its way from Miami to Dominican Republic with a slew of passengers in tow. While it is unclear whether or not the crew aboard remained alive, the loss of control was mitigated thanks to a combination of the pilot and the air traffic controllers. This incident was an eye opener on several fronts, but was a bit more so when the NTSB came in for a closer inspection.
A quick search on the internet revealed the curiously named “Fine Air, Inc.” as the culprit, but a thorough investigation by the NTSB uncovered a series of mishaps and malfeasances. One of the more interesting reveals was the lack of a formal operations manual for the flight department. The same could not be said of the cargo operation. It also appeared that the airline had a policy of approving loaders on an expeditious basis, but no compass check of its own was involved.
Improper loading crews
Improper loading crews are a common cause of truck accidents. These mishaps can be devastating and life-altering for the victims involved. The wrongly loaded cargo can lead to a number of different complications including spills, jackknives, and broken containers. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent accidents from occurring.
One way to make sure your cargo is properly secured is to use tie downs. A tie down is a fastener that is attached to the back of the cargo and is used to hold the load in place. When attached in the right way, tie downs can keep your cargo in place, making it more difficult to lose control of the vehicle.
Another way to make sure your cargo is properly secured, is to check its tie-downs for looseness. In particular, cargo tie-downs that are not properly secured can become uncontrollable, causing your cargo to move around or fall off of the truck.
Improper cargo tie-downs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes rules on the proper securing of payloads on commercial trucks. Despite strict cargo securement requirements, accidents still occur.
Trucks are heavy and if the cargo is not properly secured, it can cause instability. This can lead to a truck rollover or other catastrophic crashes. Improper loading of the cargo can also increase the risk of an accident.
Depending on the cargo, you may be required to use a cradle, tie downs, or other methods to secure it. Some cargo, such as steel coils, lumber, or pipes, can be very difficult to secure.
In addition, unsecured cargo can create additional road hazards for other vehicles. When it comes loose from restraints, the cargo can hit a vehicle in front of it, or any other vehicle in the lane. These accidents can result in property damage or fatalities.
If you have been involved in an accident involving cargo that came loose, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages. An attorney can help you file a civil claim against the negligent party.
An accident involving a truck carrying hazardous cargo can lead to serious injuries. These types of accidents can cause injury to the driver and passengers in the other vehicle, as well as other motorists. Injuries can range from burns to permanent damage. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, consult with an experienced attorney to learn your rights.
The drivers of trucks carrying hazardous materials must undergo special training. Hazardous materials are highly flammable and can cause fires and explosions. They also contain toxic chemicals that can irritate the skin and eyes, as well as other organs.
Trucks that carry hazardous materials are required to comply with federal and state regulations. Failure to do so can result in fines and penalties.
Hazardous cargo can also lead to environmental damage. For example, a tanker truck can leak toxic chemicals into the groundwater, which may endanger nearby residents.