Properly securing cargo and other loads are of exceptional importance in regard to dump trucks, pickup trucks, and tractor-trailers, as evidenced by an April 17th, 2018 accident outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A dump truck was hauling slag dust when it struck a concrete median, causing the dust to spill loose, obstructing vision and ultimately causing a five-vehicle pileup.
Lost loads can be responsible for accidents in a variety of ways, including:
- Obstructing vision, as in the Pennsylvania accident
- Striking trailing vehicles
- Cluttering the highway or other roadways, forcing other vehicles to swerve
Lost loads are most commonly caused by improperly secured cargo, which is unacceptable. Truck drivers are well aware of the safety considerations of what they are hauling and are trained on how to ensure that no item is dislodged during regular transport or during an accident. Yet these types of accidents continue to occur.
Regulations exist requiring truckers to verify the integrity of their load within the first 50 miles of their journey, ensuring nothing has shifted and that the load has settled evenly, and to double-check the load was secured in the first place, as all too often truckers forget to tie down a load. Unfortunately, verifying that truck drivers have followed through on this requirement can be difficult, often relying on the integrity of the driver. Though most truckers take safety seriously, others will risk their own lives and the lives of others to get a few more miles down the road.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck accident, whether a lost load was responsible or not, it is important to hold the trucker accountable for any unsafe actions. Please, consult with a qualified lawyer about your case. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the process of determining who was at fault for your collision.