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Loading Practices Can Increase Truck Accident Risks During Pandemic

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Truck Accidents on May 5, 2020

Truck drivers are among those considered essential workers and have emerged as heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. With increased demands for supplies and home delivery services, truckers are among the few people traveling roads and highways throughout Portland on a regular basis. Keeping up with the need for various products, materials, and medical equipment can present challenges in terms of the loads drivers are required to carry. Overloading trucks, uneven loading practices, or even a lack of a full load can increase the risk for truck accidents

The Importance of Proper Truck Loading Practices

The Oregon Trucking Association has been busy providing information and support to drivers throughout the state during the coronavirus pandemic. With the increased demands placed on the industry during this time, ensuring driver safety remains a top priority. 

COVID-19 has impacted every area of life for Portland residents, resulting in a dramatic reduction of activity and services. At the same time, grocery stores and hospitals continue to require large shipments of supplies and construction projects pertinent to supporting local infrastructure press forward. In order to keep everything running as it should, truckers are making more frequent deliveries. Making sure supplies and materials are loaded properly is a primary concern. 

Truckers must adhere to weight limits established by state and federal government agencies. They are also required to comply with numerous safety guidelines. In terms of loading, best practices often include: 

  • Making sure truck drivers are licensed to carry certain types of loads;
  • Frequently weighing trucks at points throughout the state to ensure they do not overwhelm the truck or the roads they are traveling on; and
  • Requiring drivers to properly secure loads and to distribute weights evenly.

Rules and regulations regarding the above are designed to protect public safety. Not adhering to these increases truck accident risks. 

Loading Practices and Truck Accident Risks

Reckless driving behavior and trucking company policies, such as overscheduling and not allowing for adequate breaks, increase truck accident risks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that issues with the truck itself can be another frequent contributing factor. Among the most commonly cited factor in truck accidents is improper loading practices. Common causes and types of truck accidents related to loads include:  

  • Truck engine, brake, and tire malfunctions caused by overloading;
  • Loss of control due to shifting weights, which can occur on underloaded and unevenly loaded trucks;
  • Rollover accidents, which are more likely on unevenly loaded truckers and on cabs without a trailer. 

All of the above can result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries for truckers and others on the road. 

Let Us Help You Today

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we investigate truck accidents and help injured victims hold those responsible accountable in a claim. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.

Marc Johnston
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