Unsecured loads can spill onto the roadway and cause multiple accidents in the truck’s wake. An unsecured load can cause the vehicle to become unstable during operation. It can cause the load to spill out behind the vehicle. It can also cause the cab to separate from the truck creating a very large and dangerous missile out of the cargo trailer. These incidents can cause injuries, fatalities, and considerable damage to vehicles following in the path of the truck.
Dangers of Debris in the Roadway
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied debris on American roadways between the years of 2011 and 2014. The study showed that debris in the roadway was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes. These accidents resulted in 39,000 injuries and over 500 deaths. Of these, nearly 37% of all fatalities involving road debris were the result of motorists swerving to avoid hitting debris in the roadway.
These accidents are entirely preventable and the majority of them occur because of the negligent actions of drivers who fail to properly inspect the load prior to moving it down the road. Whether the truck is carrying car parts, household goods, or raw materials such as lumber or steel rebar, these items can become deadly missiles and dangerous obstructions that can cause serious accidents whether they spill onto the highway or a parking lot.
Liability for Loose Loads
When a truck driver, the company they work for, or the supplier who loads the vehicle fail to properly secure the load on the truck, they are liable for the accidents and injuries their negligence causes. Examples of negligent behavior include:
- Not using the correct straps or tie-downs to secure the load.
- Using worn or damaged straps or tie-downs.
- Not ensuring the load is properly balanced on the truck.
- Failing to secure and properly latch the doors on the semi-truck.
- Overloading the vehicle beyond manufacturer recommendations or regulatory limits.
- Failing to properly load the vehicle so that cargo won’t shift during transport.
A truck accident lawyer in Illinois can help individuals pursue damages for the accidents and injuries an unsecured load can cause. As with all truck accidents, the process can involve gathering eyewitness statements, photographic/videographic evidence, police reports and maintenance records. This evidence can be presented to the court to establish the negligent actions of those responsible and the results these actions have had on the injured party.