Truck Loading: What Responsibility Does the Driver Have?


According to the Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the overloading or improper loading of vehicles with passengers was the cause of 16 large truck accidents in 2017, and caused 12 accidents in 2016, and 15 accidents in 2015.

Nine of the crashes caused by cargo equipment loss or shift were fatal accidents in 2017, and there were six fatal crashes in 2016 and two fatal crashes caused by cargo equipment loss or shift in 2015.

Under Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 392.9(a), a truck driver is not allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle not can a motor carrier require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless the cargo has been properly distributed and adequately secured as specified in the relevant sections of the CFR.

A commercial motor vehicle’s tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire and other equipment used in its operation must be secured.

Cargo and other objects cannot obscure a driver’s view ahead or to the right or left sides, interfere with the movement of their arms or legs, prevent their free and ready access to accessories required for emergencies, or prevent the free and ready exit of any person from the commercial motor vehicle’s cab or driver’s compartment.

Truck drivers are required under CFR § 392.9(b) to do all of the following:

  • Make sure that all of the provisions of CFR § 392.9(a) listed above have been complied with before operating a commercial motor vehicle;
  • Inspect cargo and devices used to secure cargo within the first 50 miles of a trip and make adjustments to the cargo or load securement devices to ensure it cannot shift on or within, or fall from the commercial motor vehicle; and
  • Reexamine cargo and load securement devices during the course of transportation and make necessary adjustments whenever a driver makes a change of their duty status or the commercial motor vehicle has been driven for 3 hours or 150 miles, whichever occurs first.

Contact a New York Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were hurt in a commercial truck accident caused by the improper loading of cargo, contact the New York truck accident attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C., for help. Our firm has a record of success that includes a $24.5 million settlement recovered for a spinal cord injury victim in a tractor-trailer accident, and we can discuss all of your legal options when you call (855) TOP-FIRM or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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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.