Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

Elkhorn, WI

COVID-19 Message: We are available during business hours by phone and other forms of electronic and written communication. Read more.

Why might cargo on a truck shift in transit?

Trucks are the workhorses of the global economy, carrying countless goods across vast distances. But what happens when the cargo they carry isn’t secured properly?

A seemingly minor oversight – a loose strap or an uneven load – can result in disastrous consequences. Cargo shift, the unexpected movement of freight during transport, is a hidden danger on the road, posing a threat to drivers, other vehicles and public safety.

What causes cargo shift?

Improper loading is the most common reason. If cargo isn’t distributed evenly throughout the trailer, or if items aren’t secured tightly enough with straps and tie-downs, they’re more prone to shifting during transit.

Sudden stops are another culprit for cargo on a truck shifting in transit. Even a routine braking maneuver can cause improperly secured cargo to lurch forward. Emergencies like swerving to avoid an accident can exacerbate the issue. Bumpy roads, sharp corners and inclines can also cause cargo to shift if not properly secured.

Moreover, shifting within a load can sometimes happen when the cargo itself is unstable. Pallets with uneven weight distribution or unsecured boxes within a larger shipment may create movement within the trailer.

The dangers of cargo shift

An unbalanced load can cause the trailer to sway excessively. This can make it difficult to control, especially at high speeds. In extreme cases, a shifting load can cause the trailer to jackknife (fold in on itself) or even roll over, leading to devastating accidents.

Beyond the immediate danger to the truck driver, cargo shift also poses a threat to other motorists. Loose cargo that falls onto the roadway can create a serious obstacle, causing pileups and secondary accidents. Additionally, heavy objects breaking free from a trailer can strike other vehicles, causing severe damage and injuries.

By prioritizing proper loading practices and regular equipment checks, truck drivers can help ensure that the goods they’re shipping reach their destination safely. Since cargo shifts are a preventable danger, when they cause accidents, victims are generally in a strong position to pursue compensation for their injuries.

RSS Feed

FindLaw Network