Injury Risks from Cargo in Trucks
A direct collision between a truck and another vehicle is not the only way that Clarksburg people can suffer injuries in cargo truck accidents. Injuries are often caused by falling items, shifting loads, and hazardous spills.
Unsecured ItemsFailure to secure pieces of cargo in a truck can pose serious risk of injury to the occupants of other vehicles. An unsecured piece of cargo can fly out of the trailer and smash nearby car windshields, motorcyclists or bicyclists, especially when the truck is traveling at an accelerated speed. Logging or construction trucks carrying logs, steel beams or other massive, heavy loads are a greater hazard if their cargo is unsecured, increasing the risk of it falling on a smaller vehicle and causing serious injury. Also, drivers may swerve to avoid the fallen objects and collide with other vehicles or obstacles. Failure to secure one's cargo can be considered negligence on the part of the truck driver and trucking company.
Hazardous SpillsIn any Clarksburg accident involving a hazardous materials truck, there is a serious risk of a spill involving the dangerous material in the cargo tank. These can include toxic vapors, chemicals, and solvents. Immediate containment and cleaning of the area is crucial to avoid the risk of burns or other injuries to people in and near the hazardous environment. The material can seep into the ground, affecting drinking water supplies and sewage systems in the area.
Load ShiftingCargo truck accidents caused by unsecured cargo include not just falling items but also cargo shifts that cause the driver to lose balance. A load shift while the truck is in operation can change its center of gravity, causing the driver to lose control. Such jackknifing accidents are very common. The truck can even flip over, posing a serious or fatal risk not only to the truck driver but to occupants of other vehicles in the vicinity. Driving a tractor-trailer is dramatically harder than driving a car. The slightest imbalance can throw the driver off balance, causing a serious accident. Such accidents won't occur when the load is properly secured and sealed inside the trailer, and the driver does not open the seal. In most of these accidents, the load is poorly secured in violation of federal regulations.
Federal Rules to Prevent Unsecured Load AccidentsThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes strict protocols for securing loads in tractor-trailers. Unfortunately, many drivers violate those regulations that can cause accidents and subsequently fatalities. For example, drivers must use load-securing systems, including cradles, chains, and other devices. Companies must train drivers to comply with regulations related to securing loads.