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Loading and Unloading Practices Matter In Preventing Portland Truck Accidents and Injuries

It is aggravating to be driving down a city street, heading to work or school either in your vehicle or on a bike, and to find your lane blocked by a truck loading or unloading products and materials. Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing battle in Portland, as more people means greater demands and narrow streets fail to accommodate the increasing amount of traffic. Loading and unloading practices are more than just an inconvenience, but can increase the risk for truck accidents and injuries.

The Debate Over Truck Loading Lanes

Portland is renowned for being bicycle friendly, with residents relying on two wheels both as a cost effective and environmentally friendly form of transportation and as a way of keeping fit. In 2018, Bicycling ranked the area as fifth overall in terms of being one of the best U.S. cities for riding a bike. One of the factors that worked against us is a lack of dedicated bike lanes.

In recent years, controversy has arisen over bicycle lanes that were used at different periods of the day for truck drivers who were loading and unloading materials. Not only can this snarl traffic, but it can also create significant dangers. Risks include:

  • Collisions as truckers pull or back into loading areas;
  • Obstacles on sidewalks and in lanes due to stacked pallets and boxes;
  • Pedestrian injuries while drivers attempt to deliver goods;
  • Accidents due to lifters and other types of machinery used during loading and unloading.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has taken efforts to address these risks by naming certain areas as designated truck loading zones (TLZ). However, these zones often outline a schedule of times when a lane is restricted, which motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians may be unaware of.

How Loading Impacts Road Safety and Truck Accidents

In addition to causing traffic snarls and creating risks when parked in the city, loading practices can have a significant impact on road safety as well. According to safety experts at Arbill, improper loading is one of the leading contributing factors when it comes to truck accidents and injuries. Among the most common issues include:

  • Improperly distributed weights;
  • Overloading or underloading a trailer;
  • Not properly securing loads;
  • Not redistributing weights after deliveries.

When truck drivers fail to properly load and secure their cargo, it can cause the weight to suddenly shifting when making turns or going around curves on the road. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and makes truck rollover accidents more likely to happen. .

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Johnston Law Firm, we understand the severe and potentially life threatening injuries that can occur as the result of truck accidents involving drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you or someone you care about is involved in this type of accident, reach out and contact our Portland truck accident attorneys. We can arrange a one on one consultation to discuss how we can help you get the compensation you need to recover.  Call (503) 546-3167.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.