Improperly Secured Loads Cause Over 200,000 Accidents Per Year
Although tractor-trailers provide a vital logistics function that keeps goods moving across the country, these massive vehicles can cause massive devastation in a collision. Large commercial trucks convey thousands of pounds in cargo. If this freight is not loaded or secured properly, the cargo can fall into the roadway or on another vehicle causing serious injuries and even fatalities. Improperly secured cargo also can pose a hazard to the truck driver and those who load and unload the cargo.
Although tractor-trailers pose the most significant threat of dumping debris in the roadway, non-commercial drivers with haphazardly secured loads in pickup beds or utility trailers also can drop debris into the roadway causing hazards to other motorists on the road. If you have been injured because of an unsecured load, an improperly secured load accident attorney can review the facts and investigate to determine the parties responsible for your injuries and pursue the fullest compensation.
While it might be tempting to assume that such accidents are extremely rare, a study conducted by AAA found that over a three-year period more than 200,000 vehicle accidents were caused by roadway debris. Two out of every three of these accidents resulted from loads falling into the roadway or onto a passenger vehicle. The remaining cargo-related accidents occurred when a passenger car driver attempted to swerve to avoid lost cargo littering the roadway. During the period of the study, the failure to properly secure and load cargo contributed to crashes that claimed the lives of over 500 people and caused injury to more than 39,000 others.
Commercial drivers operating large trucks must comply with federal trucking regulations that establish standards for the proper loading and securing of freight. When trucking companies and commercial drivers attempt to cut corners, cargo can shift causing an unbalanced load that impedes the vehicle’s handling and stability, which creates a risk of a tractor-trailer rollover accident. An unstable 18-wheeler transporting a maximum load can weigh as much as 40 tons. While all rollover accidents are dangerous, a tractor-trailer can crush a passenger car. Further, a multi-car pileup can occur when several lanes of traffic are blocked by a truck that has tipped over on an interstate or highway.
Inadequately secured cargo also can spill, leak, fall or blow off the trailer of a large truck. If substances like gravel or oil fall in the roadway, vehicle can lose traction when their tires travel over the spilled debris. Sometimes large objects like bulk lumber, roof tiles, and concrete or heavy equipment can pose unforgiving obstructions that offer no give when struck by an unsuspecting motorist.
Although commercial trucks cause a fair share of collisions involving unsecured loads, non-commercial drivers transporting large items of furniture and other cargo also cause serious accidents. While trucking regulations do not apply to non-commercial drivers, all 50 states and D.C. have laws that prohibit dropping objects off a vehicle into the roadway. Along with stiff fines, 16 states have laws that authorize jail time for such a violation.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in a collision caused by roadway debris, experienced improperly secured load attorneys can investigate to identify individuals and entities legally responsible for your injuries. Whether the at-fault party or parties are private motorists or commercial drivers, they generally have a legal duty to ensure any cargo being transported is properly secured and loaded. When drivers fail to abide by this duty, they can be liable for resulting injuries and other losses.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Were you or a loved one injured by a dangerous driver? Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for injuries and fatalities caused by negligent drivers. For your free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation