Logging Truck Loses Load during Tractor-Trailer Accident in Gwinnett County
While collisions involving large commercial trucks pose a greater risk to everyone using the roadways, from other motorists to pedestrians, there are certain types of trucking collisions that are especially hazardous even when only tractor-trailer accidents are considered. When trucks transport certain types of cargo, the nature of the load can increase the danger to others in terms of the probability of a Georgia trucking accident and the severity of the collision.
A recent trucking accident that shutdown multiple lanes of GA 316 in Gwinnett County serves as an example. The big-rig was a logging truck that lost its load when it was involved in the collision. While three vehicles were involved in the accident, including another tractor-trailer, the vehicle occupants and others on the roadway were fortunate that only three people were injured.
When heavy loads like logs are being transported, failure to properly secure the load can result in the logs becoming dangerous projectiles that cause horrific injuries when crushing the roof of a smaller vehicle or slamming through another vehicle's windshield. Even if large, heavy cargo falling from a tractor-trailer does not fall directly on another vehicle, they cause sudden unexpected roadway obstructions that can increase the likelihood that a collision will occur.
According to a study in Europe, improperly secured cargo may account for nearly a quarter of all trucking accidents. These accidents may be caused by the load falling into the roadway or on a vehicle, as well as from the load shifting which impacts the balance and handling of the tractor-trailer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes regulations regarding proper securing of loads to prevent collisions caused by tractor-trailer cargo engaged in interstate commerce.
Federal regulations require that cargo be secured in such a manner that it can withstand the force of certain levels of deceleration and acceleration, as well as the inertia created by certain levels of lateral movement by the tractor-trailer. There also are rules covering use of tie downs, such as those requiring that they be fastened in such a way that they do not open, unfasten or become loose during transit. The general rule regarding cargo is that it must either be secured within a structure that meets minimum strength requirements or immobilized. Items that may roll during transit must be secured by wedges, chocks or other means to prevent movement.
These are only some of the types of federal regulations that are designed to prevent cargo-related tractor-trailer accidents in Gwinnett County and other areas of Georgia. If you are involved in a trucking accident where improper securing of a load played a role, it is important to speak with experienced tractor-trailer accident attorneys who are familiar with these regulations, which often constitute the basis for imposing liability. When trucking companies and truck drivers cut corners when securing a load, this failure to comply with federal regulations and safe industry practices may make the commercial carrier liable for resulting trucking accidents.
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