It is impossible to go out for a drive in Texas without seeing a semitrailer somewhere along the way. They are everywhere, which, economically speaking, is a good thing. However, for public safety, this can be a bad thing. These massive vehicles can be difficult and scary to share the road with, especially if they are overloaded. When overloaded, accidents are more likely to happen and, due to the sheer size and weight of the trucks, the results can be devastating.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for enforcing rules and regulations set for the trucking industry. Cargo securement rules are in place to help prevent trucking companies from overloading their trucks to lessen the public safety hazard they pose.
What do the current cargo securement rules say?
The rules cover a lot of ground. They discuss truck weight, tie-down performance requirements and the use of securement devices — based on weight and product type. The basic rules are as follows:
- No exceeding a truck’s approved weight limit
- Certain number of tie-downs used based on cargo weight
- Specific tie-downs used based on cargo type
- Tie-downs used must handle truck deceleration and acceleration
- Proper use of approved anchor points
Along with ensuring the proper securing of cargo, those individuals responsible for loading trucks must also consider balance. If a semitrailer is not properly balanced, even though everything is secured according to current guidelines, an accident can still happen.
Spotting an overloaded truck
It is fairly easy to spot an overloaded semitrailer. You might see the sides of the truck bulging or cargo stacked too high. You might see a driver struggle to maneuver the vehicle or slow down when needed.
Injured or lose a loved one in an accident with an overloaded semitrailer?
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident with an overloaded semitrailer, you may have legal recourse. You may file civil claims against the driver, the trucking company and anyone else responsible for loading the truck improperly to seek compensation for any damages you’ve endured because of the accident. Such damages may include funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering, among others.
Filing a civil action does not mean your case will go to court. There is a possibility it could be settled through out-of-court negotiations.