Truck Accidents Caused by Lost Loads
November 14, 2019
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is lost loads. Commercial truck drivers transport heavy cargo and hazardous materials across Pennsylvania highways every day. When cargo is improperly loaded or overloaded, it can lead to truck accidents. The truck accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP have successfully represented many clients injured by lost loads throughout the state.
Lost load truck accidents typically occur when cargo is not secured properly, or a trailer is overloaded. Commercial trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds, therefore when cargo is not secure or a truck is carrying too much weight, it can lead to serious accidents. This can happen when drivers do not receive adequate training on how to load and secure cargo or when drivers do not follow safety rules.
Sometimes, loose cargo can become detached and fall onto the highway. Other drivers on the road may not have enough time to stop and avoid the debris, which can lead to multiple vehicle accidents. Heavy loads can also become unbalanced, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. This often leads to rollover or jackknife accidents, which can cause life-threatening or fatal injuries.
Cargo Securement Rules
Motor carriers operating in interstate commerce must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules. According to the general cargo securement rule, cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured by appropriate means, which include dunnage, dunnage bags, shoring bars, and tiedowns. Cargo that is likely to roll must be secured by chocks, wedges, cradles, or other equipment to prevent it from rolling. There are also specific requirements for the following:
- Cargo placement and restraint: Cargo must not become loose or unfastened during transit, therefore drivers must prevent it from shifting around. One way of doing so is eliminating space between items.
- Working load limit: The cargo securement device that is used must be at least one half of the weight of the cargo it is securing. There is a specific formula used to determine the aggregate working load limit.
- Tiedowns: There are requirements concerning the minimum number of tiedowns that must be used. The number is dependent on the length and weight of the article.
- Special purpose vehicles: Different rules regarding securement apply to special purpose vehicles transporting items that need to be fastened by special method due to their size, shape, and weight. These items may include concrete beams, crane booms, or girders and trusses.
- Specific commodities: There are detailed requirements for the securement of certain commodities, including logs and large boulders, as well as heavy vehicles, equipment, and machinery.
Who is Responsible?
Besides the driver, the trucking company, equipment manufacturers or businesses who loaded the truck may be responsible for the accident
Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Victims Injured in Truck Accidents
If you or your loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer at Galfand Berger LLP. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete an online contact form.