There are many causes of truck accidents, but one of the most dangerous is unsecured cargo. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. If this cargo is not secured properly, it can fall onto the road and endanger other drivers as well as pedestrians. In some cases, improperly secured cargo can even cause a truck to become involved in devastating and dangerous collision.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving unsecured cargo, you should know about your legal rights. Federal regulations require truck drivers to secure their cargo before hitting the road. If the driver failed to do so and it is the cause of your accident, seek legal representation now. Contact the Houston unsecured cargo accident lawyer at de Lachica Law Firm, PLLC, now for effective, knowledgeable counsel.
What You Should Know About Unsecured Cargo Accidents
According to a research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, unsecured cargo is the estimated cause for more than 25,000 crash each year. These accidents result in about 80 to 90 fatalities each year. The three most prevalent forms of unsecured cargo include tire treads, garbage from waste haulers, and lumber and other types of construction materials.
Because of these staggering numbers, the federal government has established regulations for allowable weight limits for truck cargo as well as procedures for securing that cargo. To help enforce these regulations, weight stations can be found throughout America’s highways. It’s here that law enforcement officials can ensure truck drivers adhere to commercial truck regulations.
Some of the more common forms of accident that can be caused by improperly secured cargo include:
- Overturn accidents – One of the most common types of accidents, these crashes occur when a truck attempting to make a turn is thrown off balance by loose cargo. When the load shifts, the weight of the truck is no longer evenly distributed, causing the truck to overturn.
- Jackknife truck accidents – This is one of the major reasons why weight limits have been established. A heavy load can impair a driver’s ability to brake quickly. The heavier the load, the longer it can take to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver slams on his/her brakes suddenly, the driver risks having the load shift in such a way that the truck jackknifes. Learn more about jackknife truck accidents.
- Hazardous materials spills – Commercial truck drivers must be specially licensed before they can operate a truck that carries hazardous materials. These truckers must pass a specific skills test in order to show an understanding of the proper safety features involved. However, when these accidents still occur, causing an extremely dangerous situation.
- Spilled cargo accidents – When cargo is not secured inside the trailer but rather on top of a flatbed, there is an increased risk of the cargo flying onto the road. Bungees or strong tethers secure cargo onto the trailer; however, these tethers can easily be worn down by prolonged use or sun damage, causing them to break.
Contact a Houston Unsecured Cargo Accident Lawyer Now
If you were injured in an accident caused by unsecured or improperly secured cargo, then you may be able to take legal action. Contact de Lachica Law Firm to speak with one of our experienced Houston truck injury lawyers about your case. Possible liable parties can include the truck driver, the trucking company, or the vehicle’s manufacturer.