Since Final Destination came out, people have found extraordinarily everyday situations to fear. Among those fears is unsecured cargo on trucks. We all see Big Rigs transporting logs, dangerous materials, and standard cargo every day. But, is that cargo a risk for people on the road?
Without a doubt, cargo transit through Big Rigs isn’t going to stop. Our economy depends on it. However, there is some concern, and maybe these unorthodox fears are stemming from something real.
Is it a Real Fear?
Yes. Even if it’s rather unreasonable, the made-up term “semiochophobia” is a twist on ochlophobia or the fear of vehicles. Fear of semi-trucks is real, and it’s pretty well justified. It isn’t just about avoiding potential disasters; a lot of that fear comes from open cargo that may not be entirely secured.
What to Do to Avoid Falling Debris
The best thing you can possibly do is to give these trucks a wide allowance when it comes to driving behind them or passing them. You must share the highways, freeways, and streets with Big Rigs, but that doesn’t mean you need to tailgate or drive in their blind spots.
Another tip for avoiding debris is to keep a lookout not just at the trucks but on the road too. Fallen mattresses, metal bars, or other forms of cargo can litter the roadway. The North American Cargo Securement Standard is that all drivers effectively and evenly secure all freight. However, when you have one person in charge of a substantial amount of cargo, that is easier said than done.
When looking at cargo as it’s falling, it may be best to stay in your lane. These judgment calls are always difficult, but nearly any form of cargo can hit the road and bounce or roll into other lanes. Basically, it may be less safe to move two lanes over in a hurry than it would be to stay put.
Finally, use the contact numbers on the trucks. The “How’s my driving” stickers on the back of these trucks aren’t just for complaints of being cut off. These numbers may connect you to the trucking company’s customer service line, or it could connect you to the driver. If you notice that cargo doesn’t seem secure, call in, and say something. These numbers are available for a reason, and if you don’t use them, then fallen cargo that causes crashes may not be solely on the trucker’s conscious but yours too.
How Often Does Unsecured Cargo on Trucks Cause Crashes?
The estimate is that loose debris causes about 50,000 crashes every year. Road debris is a big danger for drivers, and it results in over 30,000 personal injuries hundreds of fatalities. These accidents often result in unexpected injuries because they’re not typical crashes.
That’s not the full extent, though. Spills can lead to multiple crashes, and hazardous materials can lead to even more injuries. If someone caused a crash that hurt you or your family member because of poorly loaded cargo, then you need to take action.
Unsecured cargo on trucks does lead to many accidents, and many of those accidents result in serious injuries. When it comes to responsibility, though, it’s a grey area. The driver will typically take care of tie-down, winches, and place wedges, chocks, or cradles. However, they may have had help with loading at a dock or at their hub. That could distribute some responsibility or even put the responsibility on the trucking company collectively.
It’s not always clear who is responsible when unsecured cargo leads to a crash. These issues are when it’s necessary to involve an attorney. Trucking accident attorneys focus on identifying the responsible party.
Get the Compensation You Need
Hiring a Richmond, VA truck accident attorney is your first step in resolving your crash. During truck accident crash cases, it’s a common obstacle for drivers to face off with the trucking company. These companies have teams of lawyers that will argue tooth and nail that they weren’t responsible. Then the blame for the crash will go through endless cycles until they wear down the driver into accepting a low settlement.
Don’t take a settlement for anything less than what you deserve. After a crash, you have not only physical damage to pay for, but also your outstanding medical bills. Truck accidents hardly ever come without injuries. Make sure to hire a truck accident lawyer that can fight for your needs. Call CAIL to get started on resolving your case today.