An unsecured load accident refers to a situation where a vehicle is transporting items or cargo that have not been properly secured. This can lead to potential hazards on the road and cause injuries. When the load shifts, falls, or spills onto the roadway, it creates dangerous conditions for both everyone involved. Unsecured loads pose significant risks, including accidents, collisions, and injuries.
Common examples include objects falling off trucks or trailers, debris scattered across the road, or loose items causing distractions for drivers. To prevent unsecured load accidents, it is crucial for drivers to adhere to proper loading and securing practices. This securing includes the use of appropriate restraints, straps, and containers to ensure that the cargo remains stable during transit.
Failure to Secure a Load Crash on I-90 Leaves Hay Bales on Road
As reported by nonstoplocal.com, on New Year’s Day, a car reportedly cut off a truck with a trailer full of hay on westbound I-90 at milepost 36, causing a crash and a temporary lane closure Monday afternoon. While no one was injured in the crash, according to Washington State Patrol, the far-right lane was temporarily closed due to hay on the road.
If you or a loved one was injured because another driver failed to secure their load and it fell or spilled onto the road, contact a local car accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
Washington State Law: Failure to Secure a Load
Washington State law RCW 46.61.655 specifically states that “No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping…” Put simply, traveling with an unsecured load is against the law. If any part of your load can escape your vehicle; you can be ticketed — even if it doesn’t escape. If someone is injured due to failure to secure a load, the fine may reach several thousand dollars.
Dangers of Unsecured Loads
An unsecured load is more than a traffic violation; it creates a significant risk to the safety of everyone sharing the road. When an improperly secured load shifts during transport it can push the vehicle out of balance and potentially cause the driver to lose control. In the worst cases, cargo may fall from the vehicle, which turns into dangerous debris on roads.
In 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that showed that road debris had contributed to over 200,000 accidents over the previous four years in the United States. In addition to the number of accidents caused by unsecured loads, the severity of these accidents can be high because unsecured load accidents often involve larger trucks that can cause a lot of damage.
Common Injuries for Unsecured Load Accident
There are several common injuries associated with unsecured load accidents:
Impact injuries: Objects falling off unsecured loads can directly strike individuals, causing injuries such as cuts, bruises, and fractures.
Whiplash: Sudden stops or evasive maneuvers due to unsecured loads can lead to whiplash injuries among occupants in nearby vehicles.
Head injuries: Flying debris from unsecured loads can result in head injuries, including concussions, if individuals are struck by the objects.
Sprains and strains: Attempts to avoid unsecured loads on the road may cause individuals to twist or overextend, leading to sprains and strains.
Crush injuries: Large or heavy items falling from unsecured loads can crush body parts, causing severe injuries and potential fatalities.
Road debris injuries: Unsecured loads can scatter debris on the road, leading to accidents and injuries for drivers and pedestrians.
Distraction-related injuries: Unsecured loads can create distractions for drivers as they attempt to avoid or navigate around spilled cargo.
Psychological impact: Witnessing or being involved in an accident caused by an unsecured load can result in psychological trauma and stress.
Secondary collisions: Objects falling from unsecured loads can trigger secondary collisions involving other vehicles, leading to additional injuries.
Fatalities: In extreme cases, unsecured loads can cause accidents with fatal outcomes, especially when large or heavy items pose significant threats to the safety of individuals on the road.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!