Semi-truck Lost Load Accidents
It’s the responsibility of both the semi-truck driver and the trucking companies to ensure safety for themselves and other drivers on the road.
These type of accidents happen when the cargo comes loose and spills onto the highway, usually causing an accident.;
Contrary to what most people assume, not all semi-truck accidents are the driver’s fault.
Below we have gone into great details about what causes accidents, and how to avoid lost load 18-wheeler wrecks.
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- Section 1: What is a Semi-truck Lost Load accident?
- Section 2: Main Causes of Semi-truck Lost Load accidents
- Section 3: How to avoid Semi-truck Lost Load accidents
- Section 4: Common Injuries caused by Semi-truck Lost Load accidents
- Section 5: Who is liable in a Semi-truck Lost Load accident?
- Section 6: Semi-truck Lost Load accident statistics
- Section 7: Why You Need a Lawyer If You’re Injured in a Semi-truck Lost Load Accident?
What is a Semi-truck Lost Load Accident?
Semi-truck or 18-wheelers are a major part of cargo transport industry as they transport majority of cargo.
More than 36 million tons of cargo are transported across the United States every year with semi-trucks.
Unfortunately, when cargo or load on a semi-truck is inadequately secured, it may end up on other vehicles or on the highway.
This is what is referred to as a semi-truck lost load accident.
Main Causes of Semi-truck Lost Load Accidents
If cargo on a semi truck is improperly loaded or secured poorly, there are high chances that the cargo may shift making it hard for the truck driver to navigate the semi-truck safely and the driver may lose control or the cargo can break loose hence increasing the likelihood of an accident occurring.
Semi-truck accidents are mainly caused by:
Loose or unsecured cargo
Loose or improperly secured cargo on trailers largely increases the probability of the cargo detaching and falling to oncoming traffic.
The falling loads can cause injury, serious damages on other vehicles or cause death to the other vehicle passengers.
If a semi-truck driver improperly secures cargo they could be charged with a misdemeanor offense
Top-heavy or unbalance load
Loading a semi-truck incorrectly can lead to serious and dangerous driving problems on the highway.
Top heavy or unbalanced cargo is likely to cause the semi-truck to sway, straying in the lane or even tipping over.
It’s important for truck drivers ferrying heavy cargo to drive at safe speeds or otherwise little deviation on a curve road or even strong winds most likely can lead to a semi-trucking accident.
Uneven or unequal weight distribution
When the weight of the cargo is distributed unevenly, it can lead to the trailer tipping off.
Excess weight adds more weight to the already over-sized truck increasing the risk of top heaviness and can cause the semi-truck to shift while in motion.
In this case the cargo on transit is more inclined to fall blocking the highway or landing on another vehicle.
Falling cargo will cause other drivers to dangerously maneuver so as to avoid them and can lead to an accident.
Negligent semi-truck drivers
The truck driver’s negligence when securing a cargo either by poorly loading the vehicle or failing to take all the necessary precautions and procedures may be fatal to other road users and the semi-truck driver.
The risk is even higher on the highways when vehicles are travelling at high speeds.
The lost loads may find way onto your window or windshield forcing to swerve onto another traffic lane.
The falling loads can also hit a pedestrian or cyclists inflicting fatal injuries.
All these scenarios are extremely detrimental to your safety and wellbeing and can result to a deadly semi-trucking accident.
How to Avoid Semi-truck Lost Load Accidents
There are a number of laws implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that are specifically intended on ensuring the safe and proper loading of cargo.
These laws aim on reducing the number of accidents caused due to falling cargo from semi-trucks or shifting of the cargo. The regulations loading laws are:
- Restrain cargo that is likely to roll using chocks, cradles or wedges. It is a requirement to firmly secure cargo within or on the vehicle using structures that are equipped to hold the cargo like shoring bars, tiedowns, dunnage and dunnage bags. Dunnage material protects the cargo while the dunnage bag are inflatable bags used to fill up the space preventing the cargo from shifting.
- Semi-truck drivers should ensure they are using the minimum requirements for tiedown restraints.
- Adhere to commodity-specific securement requirements like heavy vehicles, automobiles, concrete pipe, metal coils and logs.
- If the semi-truck is carrying cargo that protrudes more than 4 inches out of the truck’s rear, the driver should attach colored lights to the cargo so as to indicate overhanging objects to other road users.
Common Injuries caused By Semi-truck Lost Load Accidents
Injuries from a semi-trucking accident are usually fatal. Sometimes the clash can leave a victim disabled or entirely incapacitated. Common injuries from a semi-truck lost load accident are:
Bruises, cuts and fractures
These injuries may not be severe but they are likely to be accompanied by major injuries like broken bones, internal bleeding or worse organ damage.
Depending on the severity of the accident you van acquire minor burns or 2nd or 3rd degree burns.
Burns not only cause excruciating pain but can also leave you disfigured in case the severity of the burns are fatal.
Whiplash back and neck injury
These injuries are common when the vehicle suddenly accelerates or decelerates causing a sharp forward or back movement.
These injuries take years of physical therapy to remedy the condition.
Spinal injuries occur in cases whereby the neck or lower spine is hit or suddenly moved during the accident, spinal injuries can lead to partial or total paralysis
If an object comes into contact with your head during the accident it can result to traumatic brain injuries.
Who is Liable in a Semi-truck Lost Load Accident?
The semi-truck driver is primary responsible for ensuring the cargo has been properly secured and evenly distributed throughout the trailer. Before each trip, the driver is also supposed check whether the cargo is well secured. In the event that the driver did not check the cargo before embarking on the journey, he will be liable. The company or people who loaded the cargo may also be liable if they did not load and properly secure the cargo.
Semi-truck Lost Load Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carriage Safety Regulations (FMCSR) provides guidelines on how cargo should be secured but it’s not all times that the handlers follow the rules.
7 percent of all the 18-wheeler accidents in the United States are related to cargo shifting on the trailer or securement issues. 10 percent of all safety violations in trucks and trailers are related to improper loading of cargo.
Why You Need a Lawyer If You’re Injured in a Semi-truck Lost Load Accident?
Semi-truck lost load accidents can lead to fatal injuries or death especially when the cargo is heavy. Injuries sustained from the accidents can also lead to massive medical bills in addition to emotional distress caused by the injuries. This is why you need an experienced lawyer who will ensure you are rightfully compensated.