Truck Accidents: Heavy Loads
Heavy loads on commercial trucks can be dangerous when the load is too heavy and/or not properly secured. When a commercial truck is carrying freight, most of the total weight of the truck is usually concentrated in the load that is being transported. That makes it vital to ensure the load is properly tied in order to avoid unexpected weight shifting. The weight of a hefty load moving extensively within a moving truck can throw the cab out of control and jackknife or flip the entire vehicle. This is the reason why truckers have a legal liability under both state law and federal law to ensure that loads are properly secured, especially on trips that are long or when the cargo being transported is very heavy.
A heavy load can cause many accidents. When a truck carries an oversized load, there are special limitations and regulations that the trucking company is required to comply with to minimize hazards to the public. Depending on the size and type of cargo being transported, one or two escort vehicles are required, and the drivers require special certification and training. Special warning signs are required, in addition to minimum visibility requirements. In other words, the weather conditions and time of day play a necessary role in a truck driver’s route and schedule when they’re carrying an overweight load. Additionally, there are restrictions that limit the truck driver to what highways they can travel on and what specific routes they can and cannot take when they are transporting a load that is considered overweight.
Many of these truck crashes could have been prevented. Accidents happen when overweight loads move within trailers or on top of flatbeds, throwing the entire truck off balance. Truckers, their employers, and shippers should always take proper precautions, such as properly loading and securing cargo, in order to avoid these tragic accidents.