Commercial trucks deliver goods and services to the state of Tennessee. While these essential vehicles provide much-needed materials, loading them improperly may result in a serious accident.
Cargo securement requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration decides which requirements cargo must meet. The agency creates these requirements based on potential safety issues that improperly loaded cargo may cause. The following requirements may reduce truck accidents:
- Distribute cargo evenly.
- Secure cargo.
- Secure doors, tires and additional equipment.
- Keep the driver’s view unobstructed.
- Allow the driver’s arms and legs freedom of movement.
Even if other factors related to the cargo follow the rules, an overweight cargo still fits the definition of improperly loaded. Most commercial trucks must not carry more than 80,000 lbs. This includes the weight of the passengers, vehicle and cargo combined. Truckers who take on cargo loads that exceed the recommended load limits risk a greater chance of traffic accidents.
Accidents caused by improper loading
Truck accidents can occur because of improperly loaded and overloaded vehicles. The most common types of accidents include:
- Jacknife accidents
- Failure to break
- Tire malfunctions
Inspections to prevent improper loading
Cargo can shift during a drive, especially during long hauls. To prevent accidents from the shifting of cargo, truckers must inspect their trucks during the following intervals:
- At the beginning
- The first 50 miles
- During changes of duty status
- Every 150 miles
Truck accidents involve much greater weight than other vehicles, which often results in more severe injuries. As a result, holding the right people responsible often becomes a priority. Courts may hold multiple people responsible for negligence for improper loads, including drivers, laborers, supervisors and the shipping company.
The most important consideration in the aftermath of a truck driver accident is to seek medical treatment. Your injuries will often be severe, and having a medical record may help you prove the extent of your injuries.