Contributing Factors in Truck Accidents. Officials believe the driver’s failure to control speed is to blame in a truck accident that killed two people on March 12, 2018, but there are indications that improperly loaded cargo could also be a contributing factor. According to a report from Southern Maryland’s online news source SoMdNews, the incident occurred when three passenger vehicles were backed up while waiting for the lead car to make a left turn. The driver of fully loaded truck approached the line of vehicles, but was unable to stop to avoid a collision. Though he attempted to swerve around the backed-up traffic, he struck one car from the rear and created a chain reaction of collisions. The victims were the driver and passenger in the first car hit by the truck.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office’s Patrol Bureau and Crash Reconstruction Team continues to investigate the Sunderland, MD crash. However, the story demonstrates how a truck’s load, combined with an unsafe speed, can lead to deadly Maryland truck accidents.
How Truck Cargo Affects Load Security
Certain types of cargo can be easily and safely secured to a truck’s trailer. The load does not move, so the truck and trailer remain in balance as the operator negotiates various road and traffic conditions. Unfortunately, many trucks carry cargo that does not feature this ideal load security.
Many loads cannot be secured within the confines of the container being hauled by the truck’s trailer. Oversized items, such as construction equipment, wood, and passenger cars can be difficult to secure safely. Plus, even when they are properly loaded while stationary, they may not be so steady when the vehicle is moving. Liquid cargo is a special concern, particularly when the tank is partially full, because the movement creates imbalance.
Contributing Factors in Truck Accidents
With irregular, oversized, or imbalanced loads, a truck driver must pay special attention to the cargo and how it affects operation of the vehicle. Operators need to predict dangerous weight shifting situations, double-check the cargo when others load it, and continue to inspect the load until it reaches its final destination. Drivers must also adjust their driving, speed, and traffic maneuvers. Weight shifting is less likely to cause truck accidents when the operator travels at an appropriate speed, takes turns with caution, and avoids risky driving.
When drivers haul liquids, they should always try to fill the tank to a safe level. Liquid cargo cannot move when the space is limited, so there is less chance of the extreme swings in ballast. Partially-filled tanks are much more likely to result in deadly rollover crashes.
Proper load security and cargo placement are critical, so truck drivers and trucking companies must exercise due caution to ensure the load does not contribute to dangerous truck accidents. If you were injured as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, and an experienced Maryland auto accident attorney can help. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, please contact the Baltimore County, MD office of Michael A. Freedman.
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