Commercial trucks transport more than 11 billion tons of materials every year throughout the U.S. Each truck can carry cargo weighing tens of thousands of pounds. Improper loads can cause severe motor vehicle accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires proper balance for all loads. Having a balanced load helps to protect the following parts of the commercial vehicle:
- Axle housings
If any of these parts fail during a haul, a motor vehicle accident could result. Jackknife crashes and roller accidents commonly occur because of unbalanced loads.
Failure to secure loads
All commercial drivers must properly tie down their cargo loads. An unsecured load can shift in the middle of a haul. The shifting cargo can also fall off of the truck and land in the road. Both of these scenarios can cause severe personal injury to other drivers.
Examples of improperly securing cargo loads include:
- Using the wrong size or strength tie-downs
- Using tie-downs that have worn down
- Incorrect blocking or bracing
Manufacturers assign every commercial truck a gross vehicle rating. This refers to the maximum weight that each vehicle may tow safely. Overweight loads can result in accidents in the following ways:
- Result in loss of control of the truck
- Cause brakes to fail
- Reduce the driver’s steering ability
Liability for improper loads
Typically, multiple people contribute to an improperly loaded vehicle. Each of these individuals may face legal ramifications for any accidents that occur as a result of poorly loaded trucks:
- Trucking company
Federal laws exist to protect you against improperly loaded commercial trucks. When the people responsible for hauling cargo do not comply with these regulations, you may suffer serious medical injuries and property damage.