More freight is moved by truck across Louisiana and the United States than any other mode of transportation. In fact, there are approximately 15 million trucks operating on American roads, with each carrying up to 80,000 pounds. Therefore, making sure those loads are secure is a major component of highway safety. Improperly loaded trailers are a leading cause of trucking accidents and a common denominator in many rollover incidents. While erratic driving is obvious to motorists, negligently loaded freight is a hazard hidden potentially inside a locked trailer traveling in the next lane.
When a trailer is overloaded or unevenly loaded, the risk of cargo shifting is greatly enhanced during basic driving maneuvers such as lane changes or hard braking events. When cargo shifts, it can cause the trailer to sway, rock or flip onto its side. Even the best drivers have no control over a skidding, rolled-over big rig. Furthermore, all nearby motorists will be placed in serious peril when this happens. Spilling and falling freight is another major safety hazard associated with rollovers and improperly secured cargo incidents.
Truck drivers do not often assist in loading freight, but transport companies must ensure that the cargo being transported is safely loaded and compliant with all regulations. While trucking companies can be found liable for load-shifting accidents, the shipper who certifies a sealed load can also be found responsible under theories of indirect liability.
Most big truck accidents have more than one contributing factor in their causation. Therefore a victim of such an accident may want to retain legal counsel. A lawyer may work with safety engineers and other consultants to determine why a truck crash occurred and who is responsible.