Fatal I-285 Multi-Vehicle Collision Is a Tragic Reminder of Improperly Secured Cargo Risks
While chances are that you have observed objects falling from vehicles loaded by people who are moving or others transporting cargo, you may not have considered the seriousness of the hazard posed by falling loads.
A fatal accident on I-285 last week reveals the scope of the danger created when drivers fail to properly secure loads of cargo in the bed of a truck or the roof of their vehicle. The resulting multi-vehicle collision included a jackknifed truck that obstructed all northbound lanes of traffic.
The fatal accident occurred when a ladder that was being carried by a truck was dropped into the roadway according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The obstruction led to a multi-vehicle collision that caused the tragic death of one accident victim and injury to two others. While the driver may be civilly liable if the driver was negligent in properly securing the ladder, the AJC reports that the Georgia State Troopers indicated the driver will also be charged with vehicular homicide.
The details reported by the AJC reveal the dangerous chain of events that may occur when debris or cargo from a vehicle is lost in the roadway. A representative from the East Point Police informed the AJC that the first vehicle became disabled when it hit the ladder. The disabled vehicle then was struck by other vehicles that could not avoid the disabled vehicle. The fact that this accident occurred on the interstate is not a coincidence because higher rates of speed make it harder to evade road obstructions.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough was quoted by the AJC as advising drivers, “If you're hauling a load, make sure that you strap it down well. And if you’re on the highway or the road, don’t drive so close to other cars, and leave them some room . . . leave a way out in case vehicles around you lose control, so you have a way to avoid a collision.”
While the driver of any type of motor vehicle may be negligent in properly securing a load of cargo, these types of accidents are most typical when large trucks transport unsecured loads. The European Commission of Transportation Department has indicated that 25 percent of collisions involving semi-trucks involve improperly secured loads. When cargo is not properly secured, it may fall and crush a vehicle or create a roadway hazard that starts a chain reaction collision. Improperly secured cargo transported by a semi-truck may also shift causing the truck to be unbalanced and contribute to a rollover or jackknife collision.
If you or someone you love is involved in an auto accident in Atlanta, our experienced Georgia car crash attorneys may be able to seek damages for your injuries. Montlick and Associates is available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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