Semis, Lost Loads, and Other Road Debris
The massive commercial trucks with which we share our roadways are responsible for many dangerous and deadly accidents. One accident type that often slips below the radar, however, are those caused by the road debris left behind by a semi-truck’s blown tire or lost load. If you have ever come upon a giant chunk of black rubber hurling at you at high speeds on the interstate, you have a good idea about just how dangerous, prevalent, and terrifying such accidents are. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a tractor-trailer’s road debris, you need the professional legal services of an experienced Central Texas personal injury attorney.
Cargo Securement Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes cargo securement rules for all large trucks and other commercial vehicles. Such vehicles are required by law to carefully follow all safety rules when securing their loads. These rules are in place because when an 18-wheeler is improperly loaded and/or when its load is improperly secured, it endangers everyone with which it shares the road.
The rules set forward by the FMCSA are highly specific:
Appropriately sized and spaced tie-down securement systems must be employed.
The system components and the tie-downs themselves must be in good working order.
Tie-downs must be placed and fastened in such a way that they prevent the big rig’s load from loosening or releasing while in transit.
The edges of the tie-downs themselves cannot be subjected to damage by cuts, abrasion, or crushing.
Further, special loads like lumber, logs, vehicles, coils, pipes, and boulders require special securement rules of their own.
The thing about accidents caused by the road debris of semis is that the debris comes out of nowhere and allow others on the road very little – if any – time to react. When a large truck leaves debris in its wake, often the best you can do is brace yourself for impact. Many accidents are caused when drivers who suddenly come upon such obstacles in the roadway panic and change lanes without making sure it is safe to do so. Further, if the debris flies off the semi and hits your windshield, you have absolutely no safety recourse. Alert the authorities to dangerous debris on the roadway and to any truck whose cargo does not appear to be safely secured – you could help prevent a dangerous accident from happening.