Driving on the Washington state highways is not as safe as it sounds. Especially those in Seattle, Kirkland and Olympia know that many semi trucks and 18 wheelers ply on the roads regularly. And what can be more scary and disastrous than cargo falling off from the truck ahead? Though these are mostly carefully secured, one small error can lead to serious accidents.
What Washington State Laws state on Falling Cargo
The Washington state has specific laws that clearly state guidelines on how certain cargo is to be loaded. Including the fact that both the driver and the trucking company has to ensure that the cargo is tied securely well before the vehicle gets on the road. Also, the cargo must not keep moving around, or roll inside the truck. Especially when the truck is taking a turn, accelerates or applies brakes, the cargo must stay steady and in place.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laid certain laws governing the loading of heavier and larger cargo materials. These specifically apply to semi trucks and 18 wheelers. Some of the examples are:
- Concrete pipes are to be carried on flatbed containers so that they have less room to roll around. They are also to be tied securely together and with the container itself.
- Intermodal containers, which are large freight containers are mostly meant to be carried on container chassis. These containers are employed to carry cargo since they can be transported on different modes of transit. So the cargo contained within them must also be secured as per laws governing general cargo securement, or as per commodity-specific rules, if relevant.
- There are guidelines for carrying lighter vehicles, including cars, vans, light trucks, etc. These weigh either equal to and lesser than 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs), individually.
- For transportation of heavy vehicles that weigh more than 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs), per unit. These generally include vehicles that move on wheels or tracks, like tractors, bulldozers, etc. It also includes heavy equipment and machinery.
- There are certain requirements that pertain to vehicles that have been intentionally flattened or crushed for the purpose of transit. In case of vehicles damaged in car crash etc, are to be transported as per general cargo securement requirements.
- The Hook lift containers are specialized containers that generally carry scrap, demolition waste, recycling material, etc. These are carried by specialized vehicles that can load and unload the containers with the help of hook loading system.
- Large, natural, irregular shaped rocks, weighing more than 5000 kg are to be secured in accordance with federal laws. They also apply for the transit of rocks that have volume above two cubic meters, being carried in open vehicles.
Apart from the above rules, certain other laws are also to be followed. Like the drivers need to have a CDL (Commercial Driving License). The companies too need to run thorough background checks, medical tests, etc while choosing a diver.
How Jackman Law Firm Can Help You
If you have survived a falling cargo accident, you must have suffered a lot of physical pain besides vehicle damage. Calls from the insurance company, medical bills, and loss of wages might be adding insult to your injuries. But with Jackman Law Firm beside you, you can make your life easier in this hard time. We will assist you in recovering money for:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
We will also assist you with:
- Talking with the police
- Sending citations for video footages, if any
- Investigating the company, if at fault
We are happy to speak with you about your case. The consultation is free.