How Cargo Influences Truck Accidents
The sheer mass of a truck is usually the first thing people bring up when discussing the dangers of truck accidents, yet in practice, the contents of a truck’s manifest can be just as dangerous if not more so. Familiarize yourself with the role cargo plays in a truck accident so that you can make responsible decisions while driving around these commercial vehicles or after being in a crash with one.
Cargo Shift and Unsecured Freight
Cargo shift refers to a sudden phenomenon in which improperly secured cargo may tumble and shift about suddenly, wildly altering a truck’s center of gravity and momentum, which can lead to rollovers and jackknife crashes. Cargo shift truck accidents, while rare, still account for 4% of all truck accidents, proving that it’s always worthwhile to investigate a truck’s cargo, loading procedures, and general maintenance.
Alternatively, a truck’s freight may fall loose altogether, whether due to lacking maintenance or negligent loading practices. Approximately 50,000 accidents caused by unsecured cargo occur annually in America, highlighting an extreme risk regardless of whether unsecured cargo directly strikes a vehicle or sticks around as a roadway hazard.
Even if a truck’s cargo is appropriately secured, an excessive quantity of it can severely impair a truck’s maneuverability and simultaneously increase the odds of mechanical failure. Tire blowouts, in particular, become more and more common as a truck takes on excessive weight. Once a tire explodes under pressure, the truck itself tends to immediately lose control, and the rubber left behind on the road can go on to cause secondary accidents if other drivers panic. Alternatively, overloading can render a truck excessively top-heavy or result in brake failures or other mechanical defects, meaning that it’s never excusable to overload a truck in favor of a more tightly-packed delivery schedule.
At times, a truck’s freight may be toxic, flammable, or explosive. This can result in severe secondary burns, toxic fumes, or other such crash-scene hazards, posing a high risk to all involved parties, bystanders, and even emergency responders. Truckers have a responsibility to alert others of any hazardous cargo they may be carrying, lest they be held liable for any resulting injuries and wrongful deaths.
Arizona Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, it’s in your best interest to contact an Arizona truck accident attorney to discuss your case. ELG’s legal professionals are intimately familiar with truck accidents, the laws governing them, and the investigation process, so we can help you determine who’s to blame and then pursue maximum compensation. The trucker themselves, their trucking company, or even a third-party loader could be liable for improperly loaded cargo, making the claims process complex for laymen. Give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about how we can make things easy for you, letting you focus on sorting out your medical, financial, and personal life in the process. We can handle the legal proceedings on your behalf, so why wait? There’s never any pressure to hire, so we’ll give you honest advice as to whether or not a lawyer is right for you.