Flatbed Truck Accident

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On the picturesque roadways of the United States, flatbed truck accidents all too often create an unsafe, ugly scene. Of the roughly half-million truck accidents that occur each year, flatbed trucks make up a great portion—both through collisions and unsecured cargo.

A flatbed truck is a large vehicle used for commercial purposes with a minimum gross weight of 10,000 pounds, discounting the weight of any passengers or cargo.

Unlike a tractor-trailer truck, the flatbed is mounted directly on the chassis of the truck and cannot be removed. And unlike a tanker truck, a flatbed truck has an open flatbed, as opposed to a closed or covered tanker. It is onto this flatbed that commercial goods and cargo are loaded and transported.

Types of Flatbed Truck Accidents

Flatbed trucks have been known to be involved in accidents both on and off the road.

1) On-the-Road Flatbed Truck Accidents

Many flatbed truck accidents are caused because of the load that they are carrying. Logs, among other types of lumber, are generally transported using flatbed trucks. Sometimes, when a flatbed truck accident occurs, the logs on the truck are shifted forward due to the impact, and come crashing into the cab of the truck after crushing the cab guards. These logs then strike the driver and other passengers in the truck, resulting in serious injuries and sometimes death. So even if the truck passengers would have been able to escape the impact uninjured, the flatbed truck accident can become a tragedy because of the load being carried.

Flatbeds are also used to haul many other types of loads, including motors, cranes, building materials, concrete beams, drywall, etc. These heavy loads have to be tied down to the flatbed and secured thoroughly. The drivers of the flatbed truck are also required to periodically stop their trucks, check their loads, and ensure that their cargo is secured properly and that there is no cause for concern. Even though flatbed truck drivers are careful for the most part, sometimes errors in securing the load adequately, or failure to regularly check the loads while on the road, can lead to a serious flatbed truck accident.

2) Off the Road Flatbed Truck Accidents

All flatbed truck accidents do not necessarily happen on the road. Some occur even if the flatbed truck is not in operation. Many times, during loading of the cargo on the flatbed truck, forklifts and other heavy machinery are used to lift heavy loads onto the flatbed. Misjudgments while using such machinery and errors while loading have resulted in many flatbed truck accidents, in which people have been crushed between the forklift and the rear of the truck, or been crushed by falling loads, and have lost their lives.

Thus to avoid flatbed truck accidents which occur because of the heavy loads, it is essential that employers adequately train their employees and truck drivers in the following areas:

Proper loading and unloading of heavy cargo from and onto the flatbed trucks.

Proper handling and operation of forklifts and other heavy machinery.

Flatbed truck drivers also need to be educated on the importance of regular checking of the loads on their flatbed truck. In a bid to save some time by not stopping to check if loads are secured properly, a truck driver could end up losing his life and also endangering that of others should a flatbed truck accident occur due to unsecured, heavy loads.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident involving a flatbed truck, it is in your best interest to contact an accident attorney today. They will help you to determine all of the compensation that you should have coming to you.

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