Improper Cargo Securement: A Leading Cause of Truck Accidents
The improper cargo securement can pose serious risks to the road-worthiness of a truck and to the safety of others on the road around that truck. According to government statistics, 7% of serious truck accidents injuries are the result of a load shifting or falling off of a truck. This is the fourth in a 5-part series covering the five leading causes of truck accidents.
Federal Guidelines to Prevent Improper Loading
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the governmental body charged with regulating the trucking industry, has very detailed and specific cargo securement rules for how to properly secure a truck's cargo or load. FMCSA's website makes the cargo securement rules clear: all cargo has to be safely stored on or in the truck so that it can safely arrive at its destination.
"Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars, tiedowns or a combination of these."
The Dangers of Improper Load Securement
The real test of whether a truck's load was properly secured or not comes when the truck turns. The change in direction and speed can cause an improperly secured load to shift, fall or become imbalanced. That movement of cargo can often effect the ability to the truck to stay upright. Trucks with an improper load can become unstable and roll over, causing much damage, injury or even death.
Don't Forget the Shippers!
Experienced truck accident attorneys know that while the truck driver plays a key role in checking to see that a load of properly secured and ready for the road, there are other players to consider when considering the cause or source of a crash. In the video above, I explain some key considerations about cargo securement in truck accident litigation.
Truck Accident Attorney with Much Experience in Improper Load Securement Cases
In my years of experience as a truck accident attorney, I have spent much time and resources learning the complicated ins and outs of litigating truck accidents involving an improperly secured load. Most recently, in May 2015, I delivered a presentation entitled The Nuts and Bolts of Cargo Loading and Securement at a leading conference of some of the companies most successful and most respected truck accident attorneys.