Semi-trucks are an imposing presence on modern roads, but they are crucial for the economy. They provide quick and cost-effective transportation across the country and also within communities. These massive vehicles require specially-licensed drivers and also professional care when individuals and/or companies are maintaining and loading the vehicle.
Some drivers may drive for several days on a cross-country assignment. Other commercial drivers pick up and deliver multiple loads in a local area every day that they work. Regardless of how far a load has to travel, it is of the utmost importance that the professionals putting the cargo or merchandise in the trailer do so appropriately. Improperly-loaded trailers are a major safety concern for commercial drivers and anyone that they encounter on the road.
How trailer loading affects safety
There are multiple ways in which an improperly-loaded trailer could lead to issues for the truck driver and others in traffic.
The most problematic is when professionals loading items into the trailer do not carefully distribute the weight evenly. When there is too much weight on either side of the trailer, that could affect the performance of the vehicle and the ability of the commercial driver to maintain control. Improperly-loaded trailers can cause jackknife incidents where the trailer and cab of a semi-truck end up traveling in different directions. They may also cause rollover incidents if a truck driver takes a turn or a curve quickly.
Additionally, the improper loading of a trailer might lead to other challenges, such as materials falling inside the trailer, which can cause a sudden shift in weight. That could result in a driver losing control or in damage to the trailer, possibly including a blowout of multiple tires at once.
An improperly-loaded trailer is one of several scenarios in which a driver would not necessarily be responsible for a commercial crash but rather either their employer or the client that hired them and supplied a trailer that employees did not load properly. As a result, accurately determining the underlying factors that contributed to a semi-truck collision can help those involved in a wreck seek compensation from the appropriate party.