Commercial trucks carrying their loads of equipment, machinery, livestock, or simply generic items pose a danger on the roadways—and not just from poor driving. Whatever is in the truck can spill out, in the way of oncoming traffic in either direction.
The cargo carried by the truck, if it spills or escapes or otherwise runs amuck, can wreak havoc on the highways and cause multiple accidents, injuries, and headaches for those driving on the road.
Why Did It Spill?
Clearly, what trucks carry can vary. But regardless of the cargo, the hold of a truck can be in the neighborhood of tens of thousands of pounds in weight. And if that weight gets loose, mass mayhem can result, whether the contents include hogs, toxic or hazardous chemicals, grains, or other matter or materials.
Why would a truck’s bounty be released? There are several potential causes:
- Faulty or improper securing of cargo or cargo doors
- Faulty or broken latches
- Improper loading and/or shifting of truck contents
- Truck rollover or jackknife accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has specific requirements and regulations governing the appropriate way to secure cargo depending on its nature, shape, size, and structure. There are limits on the total weight of cargo, total size, minimum numbers of structural supports such as tiedowns, and certain specially identified types of cargo that require special handling or treatment.
What Could Happen in a Truck Spill Accident
Imagine, if you will, driving down the highway and sharing the road with an 18-wheeler whose cargo door flings open. As you swerve to avoid the oncoming items falling down at you from the cargo hold, you plow into another car.
Or, in another scenario, imagine you are driving and come upon a jackknifed tractor-trailer. As you near the scene, you notice hundreds of porky-type animals wandering around the roadway. As you veer around a pig, you narrowly clip another vehicle that spins out of control in a chain reaction.
If a toxic or hazardous chemical were to escape the cargo hold and sicken a group of people, that would also be a truck spill accident.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a truck accident, you need legal advice and counsel as to your potential rights. Talk to one of our attorneys at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP at toll-free (800) 738-4046. We humbly offer you our 25 years of experience and a free case evaluation.