Flatbed Truck Accidents: What You Need to Know


Flatbed trucks are commercial vehicles that have flat trailers with no sides or roofs, and they are commonly used because they are so easy to load and allow transport cargo of many different sizes.

All loads on all commercial trucks need to be properly secured before a driver hits the road, and this is even more important with a flatbed truck. Failure to properly secure cargo on a flatbed truck can lead to a load possibly becoming loose and falling either onto another motor vehicle or into traffic and still causing accidents when automobiles have to swerve to avoid hitting cargo.

Some of the longer freight or more oddly-shaped cargo can cause other problems for truck drivers as it relates to how much space will be required during the performance of certain turns or entry into tight areas. Oversized cargo can also increase the likelihood of a possible rollover crash.

The weight of the cargo on a trailer can also impact the truck driver’s control over their vehicle. Some larger loads can be much more difficult to haul and create issues on upward slopes such as large hills, and drivers who are operating at excess speeds could be more susceptible to jackknife accidents that typically involve multiple other motor vehicles.

Other drivers also need to consider how some oversized cargo on flatbed trailers can negatively impact the driver, as certain loads can obstruct their view and create even larger blind spots. In some cases, truck drivers may not recognize certain hazards or risks nearby on the road until it is too late and after collisions have already happened.

Flatbed trucks also need to be operated by experienced truck drivers who are familiar with how the vehicles handle in all types of weather conditions, as inclement weather can have a major impact on a driver’s ability to control a flatbed trailer. Rain, sleet, snow, and other bad weather conditions can create numerous issues with flatbed trailers possibly sliding or skidding and striking other vehicles.

Flatbed Truck Accidents: By the Numbers

According to Large Truck and Bus Crash, Facts 2017 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that there were 558 flatbed trucks in fatal crashes in 2017, accounting for 12.0 percent of crashes and the highest number of the past three years. There were 446 flatbed trucks in fatal crashes in 2016 and 418 in 2015.

FMCSA also reported that flatbed trucks were involved in 6,579 injury crashes or 11.7 percent of accidents. They were also involved in 12,462 towaway crashes or 12.1 percent.

The Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health reported that the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Research File data collected between 1992 and 2003 showed that an average of nine construction workers was killed each year while loading and unloading mobile equipment from flatbed trucks and trailers. Overturns of equipment while being driven on to or off of trailers were responsible for 75 percent of deaths, and 70 percent of the fatalities occurred during loading.

Flatbed Truck Accident Lawyers in New York

Seeking compensation after a commercial truck accident can be challenging. Determining liability can be particularly difficult, given the fact that multiple parties could share responsibility for the truck, the driver, and the cargo. If you’ve been hurt in a flatbed truck crash, contact the knowledgeable New York and Long Island truck accident lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., for help. We’ll be ready to discuss your case when you call 1-855-TOP-FIRM to schedule your free case evaluation.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.