A truck accident in Florida may not be caused by driver error, but by a load that is not secure. If the load comes loose while driving, the shift in weight can cause the truck to go out of control, or the loss of the load from the back of an open truck could cause other vehicles to crash. To prevent this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has very strict rules about how loads must be secured before a truck leaves the loading dock.
Above and beyond simply using tie-downs, drivers are told that they must check these tie-downs to ensure that they are going to stay in position for the entire trip. They cannot open on their own, get to be so loose that they no longer do their job or come unfastened while the truck is moving. Proper application is critical.
However, these rules do have a few gray areas where problems could still occur. For example, the anchor points do not have to be rated, and a tie-down could come loose if the anchor point breaks; it is only as strong as the connection.
Another gray area is that, while drivers are encouraged to use marked tie-downs, they are not told that they can’t use unmarked ones. Drivers who decide to do so may not break the regulations, but they could still cause confusion that results in an issue on the road.
Drivers who have been injured in truck accidents due to problems with the loads must know what rights they have to compensation, even if the truck drivers believe they followed the FMCSA’s regulations.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Cargo Securement Rules” accessed Mar. 24, 2015