When commercial trucks are in a collision, they are capable of causing significant damage to other vehicles and their occupants. It is the responsibility of trucking companies and truckers to do everything possible to operate these large and heavy vehicles correctly and as safely as reasonably possible. One way to do this is by properly loading cargo.
Improperly loaded cargo will significantly increase the chance of a truck accident. It is hard to drive a poorly loaded truck because it is hard to control, and it may be more likely to swerve. It is essential to ensure that loads are secure and the cargo area is loaded appropriately. This prevents shifts in loads, loss of control and other cargo-related issues that can increase the chance of a truck accident.
Common cargo problems
Experienced truckers and trucking companies understand the importance of ensuring cargo is securely loaded. There are specific problems to look for and to avoid, and doing this will make the roads safer for everyone. Some of the most common issues with improperly loaded cargo include the following:
- Center of gravity in the truck is too high – Cargo that is stacked too high can make it difficult to control the truck, and it can cause shifts in the load that may make it more likely the truck will roll over.
- Oversize loads – Sometimes it is necessary to transport a load that is extremely high or wide. These efforts require extreme care and may require extra signage, lights or even escort vehicles.
- Overloaded cargo – When there is too much cargo in a semitrailer, it makes it difficult to control the vehicle. It also makes it more difficult to brake and increases stopping distance, especially when driving downhill or on a grade.
- Imbalanced or unsecured cargo – Shifting or imbalanced cargo can move while driving, causing the truck to swerve or making it difficult to swerve. A trucker may have difficulty maintaining control of the trailer.
Truckers are responsible for knowing when there are problems with their cargo that could make it unsafe to drive. Trucking companies should always load their trailers safely, and there should never be the expectation that a trucker will drive an improperly loaded truck in order to cut corners, save time or reduce costs.
Hurt in a truck accident?
If you were hurt in a truck accident or you lost a loved one in a crash involving an improperly loaded semitrailer or commercial truck, you have legal options available to you. You may have grounds to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim, but you could benefit from first discussing your legal options with an experienced Georgia attorney.