Truck accidents are generally more debilitating than car accidents because of the size of commercial 18-wheelers in comparison to the size of a standard car. Semi-trucks are already much larger than cars, but often carry heavy cargo as well, contributing to their weight and the difficulty of operation. The cargo of a truck presents its own unique risks, especially if it is too heavy, unbalanced, or hazardous in another way.
Cargo Overload Accidents
Too-heavy shipments are one of the top causes of truck accidents. If a truck is carrying more than it can handle, or weight that is not evenly distributed, the driver can easily lose control of their vehicle and cause a collision.
An overweight cargo hold can cause the following types of dangers:
- A drifting cargo hold
- Too-wide turns
- Flat tires
- Increased speed
- Inability to brake quickly
Truck drivers must follow federal and state laws that regulate the size of their cargo. Trucking companies are required to report the weight of their vehicles, and can be subject to penalties if they are found in violation of the laws.
Dangerous Cargo Accidents
Even if the cargo of a semi-truck is not too heavy, it can still be dangerous in the event of an accident. Some trucks transport hazardous items such as toxic chemicals, electrical equipment, flammable items, and other things that can cause a lot of harm. The contents of a truck’s cargo are regulated just as the size of cargo is, but if a collision occurs, even a compliant substance or item can spill out and cause harm. A truck driver who violates cargo regulations is especially at risk for causing a collision, and could be liable for negligence if they injure others.
McHargue & Jones, LLC is available to discuss your case if you were injured in a truck accident. To schedule a free consultation, complete our contact form or call (312) 487-2461.