Commercial semi-trucks transport cargo millions of miles across the United States each year, but serious accidents can occur when cargo is not secured correctly.
Unsecured cargo can cause accidents by shifting the weight balance of the truck, leading it to jackknife or tip. The cargo could also spill and cause nearby drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Accidents involving containers of flammable liquid are especially dangerous.
FMCSA Guidelines for Cargo Securement
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues cargo securement rules that all drivers must follow. The rules are based on the North American Cargo Securement Standard regulations. They help ensure that cargo remains secured under all conditions that could reasonably be expected to occur in normal driving. This includes guarding against cargo movement during forward, rearward, upward, and sideways force.
Some of the types of cargo covered under the FMCSA guidelines include:
- Dressed lumber and similar building products
- Paper rolls
- Metal coils
- Concrete pipes
- Heavy vehicles, equipment, and machinery
- Intermodal containers
Some of the methods used to secure cargo include:
- Stake pockets
- Synthetic webbing
- Wire rope
- Manila rope
- Synthetic rope
- Steel strapping
- Clamps and latches
- Front-end structure
- Grab hooks
- Webbing ratchet
- Friction mats
All components used to secure cargo for transport must be in proper working order. They are not allowed to have knots, weakened parts, or signs of obvious distress or damage.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
If you’re injured in an accident caused by unsecured cargo on a commercial truck, you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, since these cases can be quite complex, the best way to protect your rights is to seek the services of an experienced personal injury attorney.
At the Nestor Law Office, we’re committed to providing aggressive representation for West Virginia residents who’ve suffered harm due to the negligence of large trucking companies. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal needs.