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How can unsecured cargo cause truck accidents?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Truck Accidents

Cargo security is a truck driver’s critical responsibility. They must ensure they steadily pack their cargo to avoid posing dangers to other drivers. When not taken seriously, unsecured cargo may result in injuries and deaths.

A four-year period study revealed over 200,000 crashes across the country were due to fallen debris from trucks, causing an estimated 39,000 injuries and 500 fatalities.

Learning how unsecured cargo can lead to deadly collisions can help prompt drivers to closely check their trucks before hitting the road. 

Dangers of unsecured cargo

Aside from Georgia’s tractor-trailer weight limits, federal cargo securement rules also exist. Trucks must have devices and systems that can withstand acceleration and deceleration forces going in specific directions.

Additionally, there is an exhaustive federal list of commodity-specific requirements for logs, metal coils and intermodal containers, among many others.

When truck drivers fail to comply with these regulations, the following risks may happen:

  • Inadequately restrained or shifting items may fall off and hit the car behind the truck
  • Toxic chemicals may spill, which may cause fires or explosions
  • Surrounding vehicles may swerve trying to avoid the unbound goods and collide with other cars
  • Loose cargo that stays on the road may cause road closures and further damages

Environmental elements, such as strong winds, rain or snow, could also remove protective covers. Heavy freight may come flying and wreaking havoc across highways.

Preventive measures against risks of unsecured cargo

While loosely loaded trucks can have fatal consequences, these are preventable. The proper use of ropes, nets, straps and tarps can make a huge difference. Truck drivers can also steer clear of risky road conditions, such as speed humps. Further, other car drivers must be more vigilant when driving near trucks. Unfortunately, some wrecks are due to companies that prioritize profits over safety. When this occurs, victims must work with a legal team ready to fight on their behalf.