Accidents involving large commercial trucks can result in devastating consequences for those on the roadway. This can include drivers and passengers inside traditional passenger cars that could be affected by a crash, as well as the driver of the truck. Large truck accidents can occur in a wide variety of ways, including driver negligence or mistakes made by the trucking company. Often, these mistakes revolve around improperly loaded cargo. There are various ways that an improperly loaded truck can cause devastation on the roadway, and we want to discuss these incidents here.
Why is Improperly Loaded Cargo Dangerous?
There are a variety of ways that improperly loaded trucks can cause accidents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Improperly loaded cargo causing the driver to lose control and swerve into other lanes or off the road.
- Improperly loaded cargo shifting during transport, causing a truck to roll over.
- Improperly loaded cargo spilling off of the truck while the truck is in motion or falling off the truck and spilling onto the roadway in the event a crash occurs.
When a truck is “improperly” loaded, this can mean any number of things. Some of the most common ways that a truck ends up improperly loaded include the following:
- Failing to ensure that the loaders or drivers probably load the truck before every trip
- Overloading a truck beyond its legal weight limits
- Failing to evenly distribute the cargo in the truck, leading to an imbalance on the roadway
- Failing to properly block or brace the cargo
- Using tie downs that are not the proper strength or size
- Using faulty securing equipment or not attaching tie downs appropriately
- Loading cargo in a way that obstructs a driver’s view or overhangs the side of the truck
- Failing to check the cargo throughout the trip
Who Can be Held Liable?
There may be various parties that could be held liable in the aftermath of a truck accident caused by improperly loaded cargo. Unfortunately, there are often many parties involved and loading cargo on a truck, and this can complicate the process of determining liability. Some of the parties that could be held liable include the following:
- The truck driver. Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting and maintaining vehicles before they hit the roadway. This includes inspections after every cargo loading. Truckers are specially trained to operate these vehicles, and they know what a properly loaded truck looks like.
- The trucking company. Trucking companies also have a responsibility to ensure that their trucks are properly loaded and secured. Additionally, trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers and ensuring that they are properly trained to recognize improperly loaded trucks.
- Third-party loaders. It is not uncommon for truck drivers and trucking companies to rely on third parties to load the cargo onto the truck, especially if they are just the delivery team getting the cargo from point A to point B. These third-party loaders should be properly trained when it comes to loading trucks.
In many scenarios, there may be more than one party at fault for an improperly loaded truck accident. A skilled Newnan tractor-trailer accident attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help properly determine liability for what happened.