Semi-truck accidents are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Texas and the rest of the country. They can devastate both people and properties involved, given their size and weight. Although in normal circumstances, accidents occur due to the driver’s negligence or errors, often improper loading of cargo can be to blame.
An improperly loaded truck can mean many things. One is unevenly distributed cargo, which can be dangerous given how semis are already at risk of tipping over. This situation worsens if the truck turns too quickly or suddenly breaks.
The people responsible for loading the truck can also fail to tie down the cargo properly. As a result, such cargo will move around during transit, affecting the truck’s center of gravity and making it hard for the driver to control it. Additionally, if the load moves around drastically enough, it also leads to falling cargo on the road, posing a risk to other drivers.
Truck loading safety regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established specifications and safety regulations regarding truck loading that truckers and their employers must follow to prevent truck accidents. These include: using all tie-downs correctly; ensuring that no cargo shifts while in transit; distributing weight evenly throughout the entire trailer; and keeping track of all paperwork related to cargo inspections. Failure to abide by these rules can mean hefty fines for trucking companies as potential legal action from those affected by the crash.
Liability in case of an accident
The first person the court will look at in case of an accident is the person responsible for loading the truck. However, there are unique cases where the trucker and other road users might be liable. For example, if the driver knew that the cargo was improperly loaded but still decided to count their journey, an accident occurred. Similarly, if another driver were speeding or driving recklessly around a semi-truck where improper loading may have been an issue, they, too, could face legal action.
There are federal and state laws in place that ensure safety on the road. In the event of an accident, you can assert your rights and acquire just compensation for any losses or injuries sustained.