Two truck drivers crashed on the morning of May 15th, causing the contents of one of the commercial vehicles to spill out onto the road. Specifically, loads of bricks, packages, and other cargo were scattered along the entire highway.
The Texas Department of Transportation decided to be proactive about the situation and block off all the main lanes on State Highway 288 northbound at Interstate 69 and the four lanes on Interstate 10 westbound. The cleanup took several hours, so drivers were encouraged to take alternative routes while the roadway was cleared. Even a small piece of brick or debris from a lost package could cause another vehicle to lose control, leading to additional collisions.
For that reason, commercial shipping and distribution companies have a legal responsibility to load cargo onto trucks in a way that is safe for driving. Trucking accidents caused or worsened by overloaded or improperly loaded cargo may form the basis of a valid personal injury claim for compensation.
The Dangers of Trucking Cargo
In this recent Houston trucking accident, the valuable cargo was spilled across the roadway and posed additional hazards to motorists. Several vehicles likely had to swerve to avoid impact with the debris. While spilled cargo is an unavoidable consequence of some truck collisions, properly loaded cargo can help mitigate the risks of a potential accident. Overloaded cargo, improperly loaded cargo, and unsecured cargo can all contribute to or even cause truck crashes.
Overloaded Trucker Cargo
When a truck’s cargo is overloaded and too heavy, it puts a lot of strain on the truck and its tires. This can lead to a blowout, tire failure, overheating, and other mechanical problems from the extra strain on the truck, not to mention an increased difficulty in maneuvering the large vehicle.
You can sometimes tell when a truck is overloaded because cargo will be stacked on the top or around the sides of the vehicle. Cargo could even be bulging over the sides. Overloading can also happen when the cargo is simply heavier than the truck’s capacity.
Improperly Loaded and Unsecured Cargo
Similarly, when cargo isn’t loaded in the correct way, it can make it very difficult for truckers to navigate turns. When truckers go to make a turn, unsecured cargo can move and shift inside the trailer, causing the truck to flip over.
Improperly loaded cargo and unsecured cargo trucking accidents both happen as a result of negligence on the part of the trucking company or the loading company. It is important that you hire an attorney who knows the steps to investigate an oversized load accident so that liability can be placed on the correct parties.
When Trucking Cargo Spills onto the Road
Statistics show that an average of 49 tons of freight gets transported via commercial transit every day. With that kind of weight being moved consistently, it’s no surprise that sometimes accidents result in a truck’s cargo spilling onto the roadway, like in the recent, aforementioned Houston trucking crashes.
When trucking cargo spills onto the roadway, it immediately increases the dangers of an already dangerous situation. Other motorists could collide with the debris and ultimately wind up crashing into a median or another motorist. Even worse, since there’s usually a lot of traffic on Houston’s highways and freeways, if one vehicle crashes, then it can easily cause a multi-car pileup if other cars aren’t able to stop in time.
Trucking Accidents in Texas
While everyone can take proactive steps to avoid trucking accidents, they will still inevitably occur from time to time. Unfortunately, these types of crashes are usually the most serious due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks.
If you suffer injuries a trucking accident in Texas, we invite you to schedule a case review with our steadfast attorneys as soon as possible.