Posted On July 29, 2016 In Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks weigh 14,000 to 80,000 pounds (80,000 is the maximum weight limit allowed without special permit) and can travel at speeds far in excess of any posted speed limit. Due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict guidelines that regulate truckers and their vehicles. FMCSA regulations also create certain rules for securing loads.
Drivers with unstable loads risk rollover accidents that can have fatal consequences for nearby motorists. By discussing these regulations, it should become clear why rules for securing cargo are important.
FMCSA regulations dictate that drivers or trucking companies must properly secure cargo to prevent shifting. To be considered properly secured, cargo must be tied down with securement devices (in compliance with FMCSA regulations) and evenly distributed.
For example, FMCSA regulation 392.9 covers the inspection of cargo, cargo securement and systems. Under this provision, drivers are required to carry out several inspections before and after setting out on trips. Drivers must ensure cargo is properly distributed and secured. In addition, drivers must ensure that all other equipment (tailgate, doors, tarpaulins and spare tires) are secured.
This provision also requires drivers to inspect cargo and securement devices within 50 miles of beginning a trip. Drivers are also required to reexamine cargo and securement devices throughout trips.
Why is this provision so important? When semi-truck drivers fail to properly secure loads, rollover accidents can occur. If cargo shifts, especially during sharp turns, trucks can lean away from curves. This is almost always the case when loads are not properly secured. Unsecured loads can pull on the truck’s center of gravity, which can cause a tip over accident (also caused a load shift accident).
Rollover accidents have devastating consequences for any nearby motorists. During rollover accidents, these multi-ton vehicles lose control and often skid across the road. According to a study conducted by the FMCSA, rollover crashes account for 9 percent of truck accidents. Rollover accidents are preventable when drivers and trucking companies follow regulations.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies may neglect to properly distribute or secure loads. Trucking companies may decide not to purchase the equipment necessary to secure loads, putting everyone else at risk just to save a few dollars. If all trucking companies followed FMCSA regulations, it is almost certain that our nation would see fewer truck accidents!
Depending on the circumstances, trucking companies and drivers may be considered negligent for causing accidents. FMCSA regulations exist to protect the general public. When trucking companies turn a blind eye to unstable loads, other people can pay the ultimate price. Fortunately, negligent trucking companies will often have a paper trail that attorneys can use to prove negligence.
The Texas truck accident attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC have years of experience holding negligent trucking companies accountable.