Many Louisiana drivers are afraid to drive near semi-trucks, and for good reason. These massive vehicles can cause devastating wrecks when driven negligently, which occurs on an all-too-frequent basis. Truckers may be fatigued, drunk, or inattentive behind the wheel, putting everyone around them at risk of harm. But errant driving isn’t the only danger that can be posed to other motorists by big rigs: proper truck maintenance and cargo securement can also be key to safety.

In an attempt to ensure motorists’ safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created regulations governing truck maintenance and cargo securement. For example, the FMCSA states that cargo must be either immobilized or secured by tiedowns, shoring bars, dunnage or dunnage bags that are strong enough to ensure the cargo is truly secure. For cargo that may roll during transport, additional securement devices, such as wedges and cradles, must be used.

The FMCSA regulates the number of tiedowns that must be used, which is dependent upon the cargo’s weight. For example, if a piece of cargo is five feet long or shorter and weighs 1,100 pounds or more, or if the cargo is between five and 10 feet in length, then two tiedowns are required. Those who fail to adhere to this regulation may be at risk of having the cargo fall from the truck and strike other vehicles.

There are many regulations like these aimed at ensuring safety. Those who have been injured in a truck accident may want to look at these regulations to see if a violation of one contributed to the wreck. A qualified attorney may be able to help with this process and fight to prove negligence, impose liability, and recover compensation for victims’ injuries.

Source: FMCSA, “Cargo Securement Rules,” accessed on July 29, 2016