Lost Loads and Debris from 18-Wheelers Continues to be a Problem for Houston Drivers
Written by Greg on December 5, 2018
Drivers in Houston continue to face problems due to lost loads and debris from 18-wheelers. In the last month, there have been several incidents that range from annoying to dangerous. About 20 vehicles suffered tire damage due to debris on the roadway from a blown 18-wheeler tire. This incident occurred on I-45, causing vehicles to be towed from the scene.
In another incident earlier in the week, a truck lost two large, heavy spools that caused drivers a hazard on the roadway. This is the second such occurrence in less than a month. The truck driver was cited. There were no injuries reported because of the runaway spools.
Cargo Securement Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides cargo securement rules for commercial vehicles and large trucks. All federal motor carriers are required by law to obey the rules for properly securing loads on their vehicles. These rules are in place to prevent accidents caused by improperly securing loads that can then fall from the truck in traffic, potentially causing accidents and damage.
Cargo must be secured using properly sized and placed tie-downs and securement systems. The tie-downs and system components must be in good working condition. Tie-downs must be placed so they prevent the load from coming loose, unfastening, or releasing during transit. The edges of the tie-downs cannot be subject to abrasion, cutting, or crushing.
Tie-downs and securement devices must meet the minimum standards set forth by the FMCSA. Tie-downs must withstand all three of the listed forces including 0.8 g in the forward direction, .5 g in the rear direction and .5 g laterally. Cargo that can roll must be secured in such a manner it can not shift forward, backward, or sideways.
There are special rules in place for the transport of certain types of commodities such as logs, lumber, coils, pipes, vehicles, and boulders, among others. These items require specific types of securement to ensure safe transport. Apparently, these rules were not properly followed in the incident in which the metal coils rolled off the truck on a Houston highway.
What to do About Dangerous Debris on the Roadway
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prepare for a situation in which you suddenly encounter debris on the highway. Sometimes pieces of debris get kicked up into the air as traffic goes over them. This causes an immediate and potentially fatal situation for drivers if the items break the windshield.
Slow down and move around the materials only if it is safe to do so. Accidents occur when drivers shift lanes suddenly without looking. Contact the police to advise them of debris on the road. If you notice a truck with a load that looks unsafe, stay away from it and call the police. The officers will check the truck to ensure that it is safe.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck, contact our skilled legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case evaluation.
Call (281) 587-1111!