Semi truck accidents happen in many ways, but not all of them involve being hit by a truck. Many accidents or secondary events involve debris falling off a truck or debris that has become airborne because of an accident. Trucking accident attorneys represent many cases every year where injured parties were affected by things hitting their cars such as trucks losing their cargo. It is yet one more potential danger when sharing the roads with commercial carriers that drivers in passenger vehicles must be aware of.
Poorly Loaded Cargo Presents Danger
Commercial big rig trucks are an essential part of today’s lifestyles, transporting billions of dollars worth of goods from coast to coast every year. Thousands of trucks are loaded and unloaded daily with tens of thousands of pounds of cargo, to get it from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way. Fast, efficient loading and travel must follow specific Federal regulations, which are designed for safe transport practices. There is much more involved in loading big trucks than just stacking in boxes or pallets.
Proper loading requires weighing, measuring, balancing and securing, to ensure that cargo does not shift while in transit, creating dangerous conditions. This puts a huge responsibility on the people actually loading all those trucks since improper loading can be deadly. Whether due to weight shifting, poor trailer balance or poor securing, improperly loaded cargo that falls from tractor trailers is deadly for the vehicles traveling behind trucks.
Unfortunately, this type of incident happens more frequently than most realize, with many passenger vehicles getting hit by projectile debris falling from tractor trailers. Accidental releases of anything - whether giant drums of cooking fat, pallets of electronics, or loads of timbers or loose gravel - is a deadly situation for those in vehicles traveling behind these trucks.
Debris Is More Than Just Loose Cargo
Although the most common and obvious cause of accidents from loose debris are trucks that unload cargo while in motion, some accidents are caused by debris that is thrown during an actual accident. Cargo can fall from trucks when involved in an impact affecting vehicles around them, but those impacts can also cause other debris to become a problem.
Wheels that separate from trucks traveling at speed, pieces of vehicles detaching during impacts and even sections of guardrails and other external objects becoming airborne can cause injury or death as well. Although these instances are much less common and not easily prevented, it is the size of a tractor trailer, and the force of impact in these accidents, that turns even unexpected things into potentially deadly debris.
Avoiding Accidents Caused By Loose Cargo
To prevent deadly accidents caused by loose cargo, truck drivers must ensure their vehicles are always correctly loaded, and truck owners must keep their vehicles well maintained. Commercial carriers must abide by all Federal regulations for transporting different materials, whether hazardous or non-hazardous. Additionally, drivers of other vehicles on the road must always take into consideration the possibility of this type of accident. Tailgating trucks is highly dangerous for many reasons, including being in a semi driver’s blind spots; avoiding potentially being hit by unloading debris adds yet one more important reason why other drivers must give big rigs their space.
Semi truck accidents caused by loose debris or cargo falling from tractor trailers are not events that can be foreseen or planned for. Sometimes even carefully loaded trucks can drop their cargo unexpectedly, allowing it to fall onto vehicles following behind. To avoid being hit by cargo, or even other debris during accidents, drivers of other vehicles must do what they can to stay alert and give big rigs their space and travel at safe distances. If injured by truck cargo or other debris on the roadways, those involved should contact experienced trucking accident attorneys as soon as possible.
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190