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Improperly Loaded Trucks Put Tennessee Drivers at Risk

semi-trailers-534575_1280-Pixabay-240x161.jpgWith such massive size and weight, semi trucks are already dangerous to maneuver, but when these monstrous vehicles are overloaded or loaded improperly the results can be catastrophic. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a detailed handbook that describes the proper methods for loading a semi truck to drivers, loaders, trucking companies and inspectors, these regulations are all too often followed incorrectly, or entirely ignored. Unfortunately, these actions put unsuspecting motorists at risk for serious injuries or even death.

The Dangers of Improper Semi Truck Loading

Ensuring that all semi truck cargo is properly loaded and secure is the responsibility of everyone involved, not just those who are in charge of loading. Truck drivers should always inspect their loads before transport, and trucking companies should work to ensure that their drivers are familiar with the regulations. When the FMCSA regulations are not carefully followed, it can result in:

  • Improper Distribution of Cargo: Even when the cargo is arranged correctly, the immense weight of semi trucks can make turns and curves risky. If cargo is unevenly distributed or the trailer is too heavy toward the top, however, even the slightest movement could cause a large truck to tip over, putting the trucker as well as surrounding motorists in danger of serious injury.
  • Improperly Secured Loads: Whether a trailer is an open, flatbed or it is fully enclosed, it is vital to properly secure the cargo. With either type of trailer, improperly secured loads can result in the cargo unpredictably shifting, which could cause the truck to tip over. In some situations with flat bed trailers, improperly secured cargo has even come loose and fallen into the road or on top of other vehicles.
  • Overloaded Trailers: Both state and federal laws place restrictions on the amount a large truck can weigh. The FMCSA states that a fully loaded 18-wheeler can legally weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When trucks are overloaded, there is a risk for trailer damage or a tire blowout that could result in a large truck crash. Additionally, overloaded trucks are more difficult for the driver to steer, and the added weight affects the truck's ability to slow down or stop, which puts the trucker, as well as other motor vehicle operators at risk.

When improperly loaded trucks cause a crash, the truck driver, and in some cases even the trucking company can be held liable for damages

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