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Semis and loose cargo

Every driver has encountered debris in the road. Sometimes it’s from natural causes, like a downed tree branch or an object blowing in the wind, but many times those loose objects in the road are the result of human error. Accidents between trucks and smaller vehicles are a threat to commuters by simple physics, but improperly secured cargo falling off a semi trailer is an added danger on the road.

Whether you’ve encountered a loose, flapping tarp on the highway or the more startling instance of a breakaway object hurling toward your windshield, commercial trucks are required by law to secure their cargo following strict guidelines.  

Common cargo violations

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has issued a flyer with the five most common violations by commercial drivers:

  • Failure to prevent shifting or the loss of a load
  • Failure to secure equipment
  • Damaged or worn out tie-downs, including chain, straps and bungees
  • Insufficient tie-downs
  • Loose tie-downs

When debris does damage

If loose cargo has caused a traffic accident that’s left you injured or facing vehicle repair, it’s important that you explore your options carefully. A well-secured item doesn’t just fall into the road. It’s likely that the driver was violating basic principles of his or her job, which is a form of negligence.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to pinpoint causation of an accident and to determine the real value of your losses: monetary, emotional, related to lost time and, in the most unfortunate circumstances, the wrongful death of a loved one.

Professional drivers need to follow the rules. With such a significant size disparity on the road, your safety depends on properly fastened equipment.

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