While most truck accidents happen because of errors on the part of the truck driver, there are several other reasons why a large commercial truck may crash. For instance, the trucking company may not adequately inspect and maintain its trucks, leading to a mechanical malfunction that could have been avoided. In addition, a road hazard may cause the truck driver to lose control and crash.
One often overlooked cause of some truck accidents is improper cargo loading. The main purpose of many commercial vehicles is to transport goods across the country from providers to retailers, warehouses, chemical plants, and other companies. Therefore, commercial trucks regularly have cargo loaded and unloaded on an almost daily basis. As the saying goes, time is money, and too often, cargo is loaded too quickly and improperly. Such improper loading can lead to truck accidents in the following ways:
Overloading – Each type of truck has its own weight limit1 based on the size of the vehicle, number of axles, and other factors. Cargo can be extremely heavy and loaders must be careful not to exceed the weight limit of that particular truck. When a truck is overloaded, the driver may have a significantly harder time slowing down or stopping the truck. If a driver is unaware of the overload, they may not leave enough room between other vehicles or they may not be able to stop the truck at all because the extra weight causes them to lose control.
Not properly securing cargo – When cargo is not secured in a trailer, it can shift easily every time the truck takes a turn or a curve. If a large enough shift happens, the trailer can get thrown off balance and the trailer may rollover or cause a jackknife accident.
Liquid cargo – Many trucks carry gasoline, water, or other liquids in tanker trailers. These liquids must be loaded properly – for example, if they are underloaded, the liquid can slosh back and forth and can easily throw the tank off balance, often leading to a rollover accident. This can be particularly dangerous if the liquid in the tank is flammable or toxic.
If you have been injured in any type of truck accident in Florida or throughout the U.S., please do not hesitate to contact the skilled truck accident lawyers at McEwen & Kestner, PLLC at 800-732-3070 for a free consultation.