Improperly Secured Cargo on Large Commercial Trucks in Georgia


January 26, 2018

The Hazards of Poorly Secured Cargo on Large Commercial Trucks in Georgia 

A semi-truck overturned and crashed on I-110 spilling a load of wooden pallets across the roadway. The Houston truck driver was cited for careless operation, and I-110 was shut down for nearly six hours. Thankfully, the only injuries sustained were minor ones to the driver of the truck as other drivers were able to narrowly miss crashing into the pallets scattered across the Interstate. The accident could have been much more serious, resulting in injuries or even fatalities.

Dangers of Improperly Secured Cargo

Improperly loaded cargo in a large commercial truck is one of the many hidden dangers on America’s roadways. Other drivers who share the road with large trucks are most often unable to anticipate problems associated with their trucks’ load. The weight of truck cargo must be evenly distributed to avoid imbalance and resulting truck rollovers, jackknifes, or the scattering of cargo. When the center of gravity is thrown off, load instability is almost a certainty; if the truck is carrying hazardous or explosive chemicals, the results of the accident can be much more serious.

Trucks carrying a top-heavy load have the potential to flip over at the slightest mistake by the driver, particularly when the truck driver takes a curve too quickly. Tanker-trailers which are only partially filled with liquid may slosh back and forth; in the event of a sudden stop, the liquid can create a massive forward push, resulting in a serious truck accident. Truckers who transport steel pipe must always ensure the straps holding the pipe are tightened properly, otherwise a catastrophic accident can occur as the steel pipes scatter across the road. The truth is, straps can wear out or loosen as the driver travels down the road and any type of sudden maneuver can result in cargo shifting and potentially dislodging from the trailer.

One particularly hazardous cargo is known in the industry as “swinging beef.” When beef carcasses are suspended from the ceiling of a tractor-trailer, they may begin “swinging” back and forth as the truck makes turns and stops. When enough momentum is gained, the swinging cargo can actually cause the truck to overturn. 

Weight Restrictions and Securing Cargo

Because all cargo will inevitably shift during transport, companies who load the trucks must ensure the weight is evenly distributed. Weigh stations can be found across the United States, but truck drivers routinely communicate with one another to determine which stations are open and take a different route to avoid detection of over-weight loads. The government imposes strict weight restrictions on all commercial trucks, largely because any weight above 80,000 pounds can be responsible for reducing steering ability of the truck as well as increasing the distance required to come to a complete stop. Most truck drivers follow the rules and are careful drivers. Unfortunately, however, some truck drivers and trucking companies see these weight restrictions as a threat to their paycheck or profit margin, and therefore routinely drive overloaded trucks, avoiding weigh stations as necessary. 

Who is Responsible for Accidents Caused by Poorly Secured Cargo?

In short, the loading company and the truck driver are responsible for ensuring cargo is secured prior to every trip. At a warehouse, dock or other distribution center, the employees must not allow the trailer to leave the premises without verifying the cargo is properly loaded and secured and the driver has a responsibility to perform a safety check prior to leaving the loading dock The trucking company is also responsible for putting only properly trained drivers on the roadways. In short, as with most trucking accidents,there can be multiple defendants. This means that the victim of the accident can benefit from having an experienced truck accident attorney by their side from start to finish.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 33 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with our experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/tswstudy/v2chap2.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256782/

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333 

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.