Unsecure cargo and overloaded cargo cause truck accidents in Pa.
Yes, there are laws on the federal, state, and locally to govern the weight of commercial vehicles, i.e. trucks and big rigs. However, these laws are difficult to enforce and are not such a deterrent to prevent overloading which in turns helps to prevent accidents.
Trucking companies overload trucks because time is money. The fewer the trips made, the higher the cost of fuel, and the pressure to meet a tight schedule are all reasons why trucking companies overload cargo.
It might seem like a good idea initially but over the long haul and the life of the truck, overloading cargo shortens the lifespan of the transmission as well as the tires and makes each journey riskier regarding braking and controlling the vehicle. Not only does the trucking company put the driver at risk but every other car, vehicle, and passengers on the road and damage to the load.
Loose cargo that falls off of a big rig can cause traffic problems and other people could be hurt or killed, especially during a quick stop or crash.
Truck drivers must be knowledgeable and adhere to some basic cargo safety rules in order to pass their PA Commercial Drivers License or CDL.
Whether a commercial truck driver loads and secures the cargo, he or she is still responsible for:
• Inspecting the cargo.
• Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight.
• Knowing the cargo is properly secured and does not obscure the view ahead or to the sides.
• Knowing the cargo does not restrict your access to emergency equipment.
One of the most important rules of thumbs should be – do not be top-heavy. Knowing the vehicle’s center of gravity is extremely important for truck safety. When cargo is piled high or heavy, the truck or flat bed is more likely to tip over especially on a curve or if the driver has to swerve to avoid a hazard. Distributing the cargo low vs. high and putting the heaviest cargo at the bottom and the lightest on the top makes for more truck cargo safety.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a trucking company that ignored cargo safety practices, please contact our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers today.