Commercial trucks regularly travel through Massachusetts roads. When cargo is improperly loaded, it puts everyone at risk.
What are the federal guidelines on cargo loads?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA requires that commercial trucks’ cargo be properly secured before a trip. It also requires truckers to periodically check their cargo for every 50 miles driven to ensure that it’s still secured and that nothing has come loose. Thereafter, truckers are required to check their cargo every 150 miles. This is especially important if the cargo includes liquids.
Cargo is required to be secured with various items to keep them in place during trips.
What are the dangers of cargo on trucks?
Cargo on commercial trucks can pose serious dangers to anyone on the roads. If the cargo isn’t properly loaded, it can be unbalanced and tip over. The truck itself can also tip over if the cargo is too heavy as there is a weight limit imposed for trucks. The driver could lose control of the truck and the trailer can swing in one direction while the cab is moving into a lane.
If the cargo is improperly secured on the truck, it can fall off and items can even be littered onto the road behind the truck. This can lead to obstacles on the road or items falling onto other vehicles and causing damage and accidents. If a driver manages to steer away to avoid the obstacle, they can still end up crashing into another vehicle, resulting in serious injuries.
Who is liable for damages if a truck accident occurs due to a cargo problem?
Any party that doesn’t adhere to the FMCSA guidelines on cargo can be held liable if an accident occurs and people are injured. This may include the truck driver, trucking company, the company that loaded the cargo or a shipping company. Accidents can be catastrophic or even deadly, which means the victim should file a personal injury claim to recover damages.