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What causes a truck to lose its load?

There's a steady stream of goods being transported daily around the nation -- most of them in commercial trucks of some kind or another. All that cargo has to be properly secured, however, for truckers to make it safely to their destinations. Mistakes can be devastating.

The problem is that loading errors are far too common. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)`has strict rules in place that govern how cargo is secured, those rules aren't always followed in practice.

What causes a load to spill?

Most of the time, it's nothing more complicated than human error behind a cargo spill. Some common issues include:

  • Not using proper restraints or using restraints that are weakened or damaged in some way
  • Failing to pack a truck properly, leaving the cargo able to shift or topple inside
  • Putting too much cargo on a truck, exceeding its weight rating
  • Not balancing the load evenly (which makes the truck unbalanced)
  • Improperly securing the restraints (like using only one strap when two are needed)

Cargo loading errors may be a shared responsibility between the loading dock and the trucking company.

What happens when a load isn't handled correctly?

Commercial trucks already have to handle a lot of different road conditions, weather and other hazards on the road. A mistake with their cargo can lead to:

  • Rear-end collisions: When a load shifts forward in a box truck, for example, it may be impossible for a truck to stop in its normal time.
  • Jackknifes: Too much weight of the load in the back of a cargo truck can cause the trailer to travel faster than the truck's cab, leading to a jackknife.
  • Spills: Worn or missing straps can cause cargo to abruptly break loose, which may crush a passenger vehicle in another lane and create immense hazards in the road.

If you were injured or your loved one was killed in an accident with a cargo truck of any kind, find out more about your legal right to compensation.

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