Truck Accidents Caused By Failure To Secure a Load

Accidents Due To Improperly Secured Cargo

truck with a bunch of poorly stacked boxesThere are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, and an estimated 15.5 million trucks that operate nationwide. The commercial truck driving industry is an essential part of our national economy because trucks are the primary method for manufacturers and distributors to deliver their goods to market. Transporting these goods across our country requires state and federal regulations to ensure that cargo is loaded safely. Cargo that is not loaded properly presents a significant hazard to the other vehicles on the road, resulting in major property damage and serious injuries.

Proper Training Prevents Load Shifting and Spillage

Both truck loaders and drivers must be properly trained by their employers. While the need to train the people doing the loading may be obvious, truck drivers also must be trained in the proper loading, blocking and tie-down techniques. Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting their cargo and knowing if their cargo is properly secured, regardless of who actually loaded and secured the cargo onto the truck. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Handbook mandates that truck drivers inspect their cargo not only before a trip, but every 150 miles during a trip, and after every break. This is because loads of cargo can shift and become unstable during a haul. Cargo that has not been adequately inspected by the truck driver for proper covering and security not only violates the driver’s duty to inspect, but subjects the truck driver to liability should that cargo come loose during the haul and cause an accident. Failure to maintain a safe load of cargo puts everyone else on the road at great risk.

Improperly secured cargo causes many truck accidents on our nation’s roads and highways, including those in Texas. Our truck accident lawyers know that commercial trucks are required to meet certain standards so that cargo does not become loose in transit, leading to accidents. Cargo within a trailer must be blocked and braced so that it fits snugly within the trailer, preventing movement and/or shifting during movement. Cargo that is transported by flatbed or trailers without sides must similarly be secured using “tie-downs” of the proper type and strength in order to prevent shifting and loss of cargo. Cargo must also be covered to protect other drivers from spilled cargo.