Trucks carry a huge amount of cargo across the nation’s highway and, most of the time, the products are secure. Sometimes, however, you see those commercial trucks driving down the nation’s highways with tie-downs and tarps flapping in the wind. You may wonder if the load is secure as you cautiously pass the vehicle, hoping that the load won’t shift or that a tie-down won’t break and trigger a chain-reaction accident.
The federal rules for securing cargo
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets the rules for securing cargo on all commercial vehicles. West Palm Beach commercial trucking accident attorneys see cases all the time where cargo has rolled off trucks and caused severe accidents and injuries to their clients. Although most drivers of commercial vehicles secure shipments properly, some take shortcuts that can cost lives. At the basic level, the rules are as follows:
- Cargo must be correctly secured and distributed. Too much cargo on one side or another, even front to back, can cause a rollover or secondary vehicle accident.
- All cargo-related aspects of the truck must be secured. For an 18-wheeler this would include tie-downs, chains, tarpaulins, tailboard, tailgate, spare tire and any other equipment that secures the cargo.
- The cargo must not block visibility or prevent the safe operation of the truck. Under the federal rules, nothing can block the driver’s front view or side view. The cargo cannot prevent the truck driver from accessing emergency equipment or from freely moving his or her legs, nor can it prevent any passenger from safely exiting the vehicle.
Commercial trucking attorneys in Florida
Commercial truck drivers carry a huge responsibility in following the federal rules and regulations for cargo securement. A shift in cargo can mean devastating losses to you and your family for which you need a Florida commercial trucking attorney.