How Improperly Loaded Cargo Can Cause Car Accidents

Truck accidents are often very serious due to the large size and weight of these vehicles. One of the many reasons for these accidents is improperly loaded cargo. Although this can be rare, it can be very dangerous, and can seriously injure individuals around the heavy vehicle. But you might be wondering, how improperly loaded cargo causes car accidents.  

According to the New Mexico semi-truck accident attorneys at the Fine Law Firm, truck drivers could be responsible for causing an accident if their cargo is not fastened properly.  Not only can they hurt themselves, they can cause significant injuries to other drivers around them. The following are the common reasons as to why loaded cargo causes car accidents.  

Shifting Cargo Cause

Shifting cargo can be even more dangerous than brake problems, driver fatigue, or illegal maneuvers. When the cargo shifts while the truck is moving, the risk of an accident increases drastically. Truck drivers are required to properly secure their cargo to keep it from shifting around and possibly causing an accident. 

Overweight And Overload

Another common reason for truck accidents is when the vehicle is carrying a load that is too heavy. Each truck will always have a Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which represents the maximum weight that a vehicle can carry safely. Suppose a truck carries cargo that exceeds its GVWR. Then, there is a higher risk of the driver losing control. 

When traveling downhill, drivers might end up going faster than anticipated due to the added weight of the cargo. Also, if the trailer is overloaded, the stopping distance could increase and the steering might not be as responsive as they hoped. 

Trucking regulations determine the maximum “weight” that a commercial truck can transport. The maximum weight can include the truck and its cargo. 

It’s also important to consider how truck drivers distribute their cargo. They need to consider the total weight on each axle, and the weight on the tires. If one side is heavier than the other, then it is very likely that the truck could tip over when making turns, even if the cargo is tightly strapped in. 

More importantly, if the cargo is too far back, then even the slightest adjustment can lead to the truck driver losing control of their vehicle. Even if they drive with that weight consideration in mind, it can greatly increase the risk of an accident.

Improperly placed Cargo

There is also the possibility that the driver has not positioned the cargo properly, which can significantly increase the risk of a truck tipping over. Placing the cargo further back of the trailer makes it harder for the driver to steer, while increasing load on the engine. Attaching the cargo closer to the truck makes it a lot easier to steer, and reduces the risk of it possibly derailing. 

A common reason for why the cargo might shift further back is because it has not been strapped in properly. This can be especially concerning, as drivers might start out their journey thinking they are safe, and things can take a turn for the worse while they are on their way. 

It is important that you are careful when driving around trucks with loaded cargo. Not only can it be loaded improperly, but its shifting weight can cause a serious accident. With all of this in mind, you should always keep a safe distance from a truck, and be careful when you are driving on the highway and around these bigger trucks.

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