Truck Accidents Caused by Unsecured Cargo

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, between 2012 and 2016, more than 200,000 accidents resulted from debris on the road. You’ve likely seen boxes, mattresses, lumber, and other debris on the side of the road and wondered how they got there. Chances are they were fallen truck cargo. Large trucks play an essential role in hauling goods across the country. Many of them carry heavy loads. If these loads are not secured properly, it can result in debris on the roadway and dangerous accidents.



The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules regarding how to properly secure cargo. Drivers and trucking companies are obligated to abide by these rules. Specific rules depend on the type of cargo being loaded. The rules require that cargo must be secured so that it does not:

  • Leak or spill
  • Blow off or fall from the vehicle
  • Shift upon or within the vehicle.


Types of Unsecured Cargo Accidents

Unsecured cargo accidents don’t only involve flying debris. When cargo is not properly secured, the entire vehicle becomes hazardous on the road. The vehicle can become imbalanced and more prone to an accident or rollover. Some examples of accidents that can occur when cargo is not properly secured include:

  • Unsecured cargo shifting around in the truck trailer, making it prone to a rollover accident. In this case, something like a sudden gust of wind could provide all the necessary momentum to cause the cargo to carry the truck over on its side.
  • Sudden turns can make unsecured cargo shift in the truck trailer, causing it to spin the whole vehicle around.
  • Many accidents involving unsecured cargo simply involve cargo falling off of the truck. These objects can strike motorists or simply become road hazards as they sit in the middle of the road. In addition, the fear caused by seeing cargo falling off of a truck can lead to a driver being involved in an accident.


Liability for Unsecured Cargo Accidents

Parties who may be liable in truck accidents caused by unsecured cargo include:

  • The driver of the truck who is responsible for making sure any load he transports is secure
  • The driver’s employer
  • The manufacturer of the truck who has a duty to ensure that there is nothing wrong with the truck that would cause a load to become unsecured
  • Companies in the distribution chain who are responsible for ensuring that a load is secure.


Contact a New York Truck Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by unsecured cargo, you may want an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been helping New Yorkers injured in truck accidents for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.