Truck accidents happen for many reasons. A driver may be going too fast for conditions, they could fall asleep behind the wheel, they could be intoxicated while driving or they could simply make a common driving error like running a red light or drifting over the centerline.
One reason that you don’t often hear as much about, though, is when there is a load shift. What is this, and how can it cause an accident?
As the name implies, this is an issue where the load on the truck bed or in the trailer shifts and moves while in transit. It was perfectly balanced to start, but something unbalanced it and shifted it to one of the outside walls. It can happen when drivers brake, accelerate or turn.
This is so dangerous because most of the truck’s weight could be in the cargo. If that shifts from the center to the outside wall, the truck can roll. Even if it doesn’t roll, the truck could be pulled onto the shoulder, off the road, into the oncoming lanes or somewhere else that driver does not intend or expect to be. With enough weight, the driver may essentially have lost control of the vehicle. Even steering and braking to counter the shift may not help.
There are many parts to a truck accident. The actions of the driver do matter, but this shows how they are not always at fault. The fault could lie with the company that the trucker drives for, with the workers (or the company) that did the loading or even with the company that makes the straps intended to hold the load in place.
If you get involved in an accident, you need to know how to seek compensation.