Truck Cargo Shifts

Truck Cargo Shift Danger

On Tuesday morning The Trentonion reported that a truck accident occurred.  The truck driver of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer died after his cargo shifted and crushed him.  Christopher Stiff lived only 33 years after the truck accident, when he was pinned by his cargo of steel beams.  A car stopped abruptly in front of a traffic light, when the tractor-trailer pulled up behind it.  The driver of the car miraculously lived, but Pennington Borough Police released that the truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The primary mission of the The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce truck cargo shifts, crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.  Regarding the accident above, the FMCSA does have regulations to prevent accidents that result from improper cargo securement.   The Rules of Cargo do state that cargo, cargo securement devices and systems should be inspected. Unfortunately, these safety procedures were not followed in the Tuesday truck accident.

The above image is an example of truck cargo that is properly installed.  The FMCSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) is intended to protect the safety of the public and the truck driver.  Truck drivers need to look out for their own safety, and should not be afraid to report problems.  The FMCSA does offer a Share the Road Safely guide, which offers safety tips for truck and bus drivers in an effort to prevent tragic accidents like the one that just occurred in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.  Truck drivers should be aware of the load that they are transporting.  In most cases, truck drivers do not load the cargo into the trailer.  The shipper is usually responsible for the loading and securement of the load.  If a load shifts because of poor securement, the weight of the load could cause the trailer to tip around sharp bends.  In addition, truck drivers should always be careful when they open the doors of a trailer after a trip.


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