When we talk of trucking crashes, we may not necessarily think of improperly loaded cargo as something that can be counted as a factor responsible for many truck-related crashes occurring annually.
Jack-knifing, rollovers, falling or flying cargo, and spilling of hazardous materials (flammable liquids, toxic chemicals, etc.) are some of the most common types of load loss trucking accidents. With an already higher center of gravity than most other smaller passenger vehicles, the dangers of improperly loaded cargo can be extensive.
To combat the problems of load loss, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued cargo securement rules that took effect way back in January 2004.
The FMCSA rules emphasize the following aspects of securing loads:
- Requiring certain motor carriers to increase the number of tiedowns used in securing certain types of cargo;
- Ensuring deceleration and acceleration parameters as well as systems and tools used to secure cargo conformed to the new performance criteria;
- Mandating proper use of tiedowns;
- Use of chocks and wedges to keep cargo (susceptible to rolling) restrained;
- The minimum working load limit for cargo securement devices; and
- Vehicle and commodity-specific securement requirements, among other things.
It is hard to assess the impact of the rules on serious and fatal crashes. The FMCSA does not report specifically on accidents caused by loss of load. Overall, however, the most recent governmental statistics, for 2015, report an 18 percent decrease in fatalities involving commercial trucks, as compared to the numbers back in 2005.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a trucking accident caused by spillage of cargo and have sustained serious injuries or property damage, having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side is essential. You can count on the Alexander Law Group, LLP to help you receive the compensation you are due. Call us today at 888.777.1776, or contact us online.