Truck Cargo Overload and Spill Accidents
Big rigs transport millions of tons of products across the country every day, so maybe it’s inevitable that an accident happens every now and again, but rigs overloaded with cargo put everyone at risk. Just recently, media reported a rig carrying 40 thousand pounds of syrup jackknifed, spilled its load across the highway just off the New Jersey Turnpike, ripping the trailer in half and rupturing the fuel tank.
Further down the coast, a log truck flipped, spilling its load across Highway 171 in North Carolina. The driver was traveling too fast for the wet, rainy conditions and lost control of his rig while going around a curve in the road.
On the other side of the country, a truck carrying chicken guts lost control and spilled its load across Highway 101 in California. The highway was closed while a loader scooped up the meat waste. The accident was believed to have been caused when the driver lost control while trying to stop abruptly for traffic.
Accidents caused by improperly secured cargo
- Overturn accidents are commonly caused by improperly loaded cargo. Typically, if a truck is trying to make a turn and their cargo shifts, it disrupts the distribution of weight and throws off the balance of the vehicle.
- Jackknife accidents typically occur when a truck driver attempts to stop quickly, causing their cargo to shift in such a way that the trailer swings perpendicular to the cab. As it swings, it can strike and drag any vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, road signs and guard rails with it.
- When a rig dumps a load of hazardous cargo, the scene can become very bad very quickly. Aside from the dangerous of a truck crash, toxic chemical, and hazardous materials
- Accidents caused by spilled cargo often occur when the load on a flatbed trailer is secured using worn or damaged tethers. The load can strike nearby vehicles, or spill across the roadway creating hazardous roadblocks.
The federal government regulates the weight limits for loaded trucks and has established policies as to how that cargo is to be loaded and secured. To enforce these requirements, truck drivers must pass through weigh stations that you’ve probably seen on the side of the highway. The truck is driven across truck scales while law enforcement conducts spot checks.
If you are involved in this type of accident, know that liability can be complex. There are many entities that have a role in the transport of goods, including the driver, the trucking company, and even the company that loads the cargo. If you or your family has suffered an injury in a cargo spill accident, contact us today to learn if you are eligible for compensation for your injuries.