Truck Accidents Caused By Cargo Shift
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, cargo shift causes about 4% of all truck accidents. However, even though cargo shifts are not the most common cause of truck accidents, it is crucial to note that it has the highest (56.3) “relative risk” compared to any other factors that cause truck accidents. This means that even though cargo shifts are not the most common cause of truck accidents, the chances of an accident occurring when cargo shift occurs are quite high. According to the FMCSA, common causes of truck accidents like brake problems, traveling too fast for conditions, and roadway problems have “relative risks” of 2.7, 7.7, and 1.5, respectively.
How Cargo Shift Causes Truck Accidents
Usually, cargo shifts occur because of improperly loaded cargo. When cargo is not properly loaded on a truck, it can move or shift during transit. If a truck driver brakes suddenly, takes a curve too fast, is driving over a rough road, or is speeding, improperly loaded cargo can move or shift and change positions. When this happens, the truck’s center of gravity changes. A change in a truck’s center of gravity can cause a driver to lose control of the truck. When a driver loses control of a truck, a crash is most likely to happen. Truck accidents such as rollover and jackknife accidents often occur because of improperly loaded cargo.
Unfortunately, most truck accidents that occur due to improperly loaded cargo result in death or injuries. If a truck is carrying hazardous material and the material spills out onto the road, many people could end up suffering.
Cargo Securement Rules in Florida
Because of the dangers associated with improperly loaded cargo, the FMCSA created comprehensive rules that govern how cargo should be secured on trucks. For example, according to the FMCSA, truckloads should always be tied down using securing devices. A securing device is any device specifically manufactured to secure or attach cargo to a trailer or vehicle. Examples of securing devices include, among many others;
- Steel strapping
- Synthetic webbing
- Synthetic rope
- Grab hooks
Also, according to the FMCSA, after the cargo has been secured on a truck, a truck driver should inspect the securement after driving for 50 miles. After that, a driver should check the status of the securement at three-hour intervals or after driving for 150 miles, whichever comes first.
Liability in Cargo-Related Accidents
If you suffer an injury in a cargo-related accident, you may be eligible for compensation. When it comes to cargo-related accidents, several different parties may be liable. For example, a trucking company may be held liable if it failed to train the truck driver and the other people who interacted with the truck’s load on how to secure cargo properly. Other parties that might be liable in a cargo-related accident include;
- Manufacturers of a defective securing device
- Third-party loading company
- Truck driver
Contact a Parkland Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Florida cargo-related truck accident, you should contact one of our experienced Parkland truck accident lawyers at Lyons & Snyder today. We have the experience needed to investigate such accidents and can help you recover the compensation you deserve.