Semi-truck accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence throughout Indiana, Illinois and across the country. They can be devastating to other road users, largely because of the weight and size of big rigs compared to smaller passenger vehicles. There are a variety of reasons why they might occur, and in many cases they are due to driver negligence such as speeding or falling asleep behind the wheel. However, there is another cause that is not as well understood, and that is when a truck’s cargo is improperly loaded.
What happens when the cargo is uneven?
A tractor-trailer that is fully loaded can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When its cargo is not distributed evenly, it could wreak havoc on the truck’s suspension, braking system, tires, and other parts, leading in some cases to a devastating truck accident. An unbalanced load could also affect the way that the driver handles the truck. It could lead to the trailer swaying off of its normal path, and this could result in both the cab and trailer rolling over and crushing other vehicles in its proximity.
There are other ways in which an improperly loaded big rig could be dangerous. For example, if the cargo is not secured and tied down, it could move around while in transit, making the truck difficult to steer and control.
Who is liable in a truck accident?
It is not just the driver who could be found liable for the economic losses incurred by occupants of other vehicles in such an incident. Many trucking companies contract with third parties to load and unload their big rigs, and the responsibility could partially lie with them as well.