Motorists are surrounded by big-rig trucks transporting goods on busy Dallas and Fort Worth highways and streets every day. These trucks carry many heavy objects, including appliances, logs, heavy piping, and vehicles. Unfortunately, trucks sometimes fail to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules regarding how to safely load and secure these heavy loads, and this can cause catastrophic crashes and life-altering injuries and fatalities.
How Big-Rig Trucks Side-Step Federal Rules for Proper Cargo Loading
The FMCSA has enacted their Cargo Securement Rules to ensure that truckers properly secure their cargo and to prevent crashes caused by cargo slipping or falling off the truck. These rules require that cargo be “firmly secured or immobilized” on or within the truck. The rules include even more specific guidelines for securing certain larger objects such as logs, metal coils, concrete pipes, and vehicles. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that trucks can be improperly loaded, including:
- Weight is unevenly distributed in the bed of the truck.
- Cargo is improperly braced or blocked.
- Cargo is not stacked properly to ensure that it is adequately balanced in the truck.
- Cargo is secured with too few tie-downs or with tie-downs not rated for the cargo’s weight.
- Cargo has no edge protection to stop the tie-downs from being cut.
- Cargo is not covered with a protective barrier or wrap.
- Cargo has no header boards (boards in front of the trailer and behind the cab) to prevent spillage into the cab when the truck stops or there is a crash.
- Cargo likely to roll is not secured by proper wedges and other required securing devices.
- Special Purpose Vehicle requirements are not met when transporting large items such as heavy machinery, steel or concrete beams, and crane booms.
- Specific securing requirements for cargo like logs, metal coils, and vehicles are not followed.
Failing to follow the FMCSA rules can cause accidents that may result in life-changing injuries to the victims, including brain damage, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, or death. Depending on the cause of the crash, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation from a number of parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, and freight handler.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a trucker, we are here to help you get the compensation you could be entitled to. Start an online chat, or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and how we can assist you.