Poorly Secured Cargo Causes Devastating Truck Crashes in Florida

Thousands of tractor-trailers crisscross Florida every day, and we have already drawn the attention of concerned Florida motorists to the dangers of sharing the road with big rigs.

There are several major causes of accidents with large trucks in Florida:
  • Truck driver mistakes caused by distraction, fatigue, health issues, etc.
  • Rule violations by the motor carrier or truck driver, such as lack of truck inspection and maintenance, hours-of-service violation, lack of driver training or qualification, etc.
  • Reckless or negligent driving by other motorists.

One other cause of serious semi-truck crashes is the size and weight of the load and, more particularly, the way cargo is secured or stowed. What happens if a 50,000-pound truck load comes loose?

Apart from driving, the critical responsibility of the truck driver is to load and secure the cargo on the trailer in such a way that it will not move, and is spread evenly over the surface of the trailer. The truck driver's training is essential in this respect and could become problematic if a driver is frequently assigned to very different types of cargo, such as:
  • Cars
  • Live cattle or poultry
  • Liquid bulk
  • Steel coils or pipes
  • Pallets or cardboard boxes
  • Logs

A top-heavy car transporter could flip over in a sharp curve. A tanker-trailer half filled with liquid is likely to create a massive forward push when the truck comes to a standstill. Steel pipes will roll on the highway if worn-out straps get loose or snap.

Cargo shifting may cause a tractor-trailer to jackknife or roll over. Spillage of a truckload on the highway may take all motorists by surprise and create a deadly car pileup. Chemicals and flammable products cause additional hazards.

Motor carriers have a great responsibility to make sure these devastating accidents do not happen, meaning they need to train their truck drivers adequately and respect the federal regulations requiring truckers to stop and inspect the cargo after 50 miles of travel and again after 150 miles or three hours.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident caused by someone else, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or send us an email to arrange a free consultation.