Truck Accidents Due to Improper Loading
When on the highway, truck drivers may encounter unexpected obstacles resulting in fatal accidents. Since 2009 there has been a 52% increase in truck accidents, and 74% result in fatal passenger vehicle crashes. Often, it is not the truck driver’s fault but their company’s due to improper loading. These types of accidents are handled similarly to any truck accident; however, additional proof is necessary to prove that the truck accident is due to improper loading. This can change who you hold at fault for your accident. For example, if a third-party warehouse improperly loaded the truck, causing an accident between you and the truck driver, your truck accident attorney has to seek a settlement from the company that loaded and checked the vehicle. To help you manage the complexities of a truck accident caused by improper loading, talk to attorneys today. Call Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. for a free consultation.
How Can Truck Accidents Happen Due To Improper Loading?
Improperly loaded trucks can result from a life-threatening accident and tons of property damage. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and when not loaded properly, this creates unforeseen complications that can make a truck lose its cargo and fall off balance. Here are multiple ways that a truck can be improperly loaded:
One of the most frequent causes of an improper loading truck accident is poor training. When loaders aren’t trained properly, they don’t perform at their highest potential and make rookie mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
Cargo Is Too Heavy
In every state, the cargo loaded onto trucks should be within the legal limits. When cargo is far over legal limits, this can strain the vehicle and make it extremely imbalanced. Severely heavy cargo can also make it difficult for a truck to slow down in time before preventing an accident because the force of the truck’s weight requires a greater distance before coming to a full stop. In the state of Georgia, the legal axle weight limit is 20,340 pounds for cargo. The legal tandem weight limit on all trucks is 37,340 pounds.
Uneven Cargo Distribution
Warehouse loaders should make sure that the cargo is evenly distributed across the truck in a balanced way to prevent the truck from wobbling or shifting. When cargo is unevenly distributed, the truck can sway when making turns and lose balance when changing lanes, especially if they are driving at high speeds on the highway.
Load Obstructs Driver’s View
In smaller trucks, the driver may be unable to see through their rearview mirror because the carriage load is overpacked. This prevents the truck driver from being able to see cars behind them and oncoming traffic they have to watch out for when changing lanes.
Worn Out Tie-Downs
All cargo must be secured in place by tie-downs to prevent cargo from sliding around the carriage. When the tie-downs are worn out, they break or slip, allowing cargo to move freely. Not only does this cause issues for the truck driver, but can also create problems for drivers in the rear. Cargo that is heavy enough can break free or cause the back door to open, creating road hazards for other drivers.
Wrong Size Or Strength Of Tie Down
Even if the tie-downs are brand new, they may still be the wrong size or strength. If they are the wrong size, this can allow cargo to slip out of the reigns holding them back. When they are the wrong strength, the tie-downs can break. Not only can the cargo be damaged, but the truck can be thrown off-kilter and result in an accident.
Didn’t Verify Loading Work Of Employees
When employees who load each vehicle don’t get their work inspected, this can result in danger. Employees, even when well trained, can make mistakes sometimes. Trucks should always be reviewed after loading before leaving the warehouse.
How Do I File A Claim Due To An Improperly Loaded Truck?
If you were in a bad accident and noticed a truck wobbling or flipping over during a turn before your truck accident, this may be due to improper loading. In rare cases, you may notice objects falling off a truck. If this was your experience, take pictures of the scene and explain to your attorney what you witnessed. Your attorney can investigate your claim and determine how the accident occurred by speaking with the trucking company’s inspector. They can also discover other proof to help prove that the trucking company was at fault for your damages. Call Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. for a free consultation.