South Carolina Car Accidents Due to Dropped Cargo on the Road

South Carolina Dropped Cargo on the Road Car Accident Attorney

Injury Lawyers for Cases Involving Road Debris in Charleston, Goose Creek, and Summerville

Throughout the nation, roads are shared by cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, animals, and other travelers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In a study over a recent 3-year period by the American Automobile Association, more than two hundred thousand debris-related crashes occurred on U.S. roads.

While some accidents are unavoidable, many South Carolina debris accidents are preventable if cargo haulers and drivers follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety protocols. Accidents involving unsecured cargo result from the driver not using, improperly using or the failure of chains, steel strapping, wired roping, and synthetic webbing.

If you were seriously injured in a street or highway accident involving dropped cargo from a truck or other vehicle, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Next, you must consult with a South Carolina personal injury attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm. We will explain your legal rights and start crafting a compelling case on your behalf.

Road Debris and Dropped Cargo Accidents in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) publishes a traffic collision fact book describing the characteristics, causes, and effects of traffic accidents in South Carolina. The most recent findings indicated that one traffic collision occurred every 4 minutes, one fatal crash every 9.1 hours, one injury collision every 16 minutes, and one property collision every 6 minutes in the state.

The report classified each accident under one of five primary contributing factors. The primary contributing factors include the following:

  • Driver error: Including conduct such as driver distraction, failure to yield, texting, swerving, aggressive driving, and impairments.
  • Roadway: Debris, non-highway work, ruts, missing traffic control devices, and work zone.
  • Non-motorist: Including an inattentive non-motorist, improper crossing, darting, or failure to yield.
  • Environmental: Such as an animal in the road, glare, obstruction, or another environmental factor.
  • Vehicle Defect: Including defective brakes, steering, tires, lights, and cargo.

Further, the three-year study by AAA Foundation found that these incidents resulted in nearly 40,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths. These accidents can impose economic and noneconomic costs on South Carolina drivers who suffer injuries in a dropped cargo crash.

Why Dropped Cargo Accidents Occur in South Carolina

There are several steps that trucking companies, highway road crews, and individual drivers must take to avoid dropping cargo onto the road. The Bureau of Transportation’s Transportation Accident by Mode report revealed that 3,801,180 light-truck accidents and 439,207 large-truck accidents occurred in 2020. Light trucks include trucks weighing 10,000 pounds with a gross vehicle weight rating or less, including vans, pickup trucks, utility vehicles, and truck-based station wagons.

Pickup truck drivers and other trucking drivers must ensure the following:

Maintaining vehicles: Proper and routine vehicle maintenance can prevent accidents. Cleaning headlights, checking tire pressure, ensuring brake safety, inspecting wiper blades, and checking vehicle fluids can ensure that a vehicle is equipped to handle cargo.

Securing vehicle loads: According to the FMCSA, a truck’s cargo must be immobilized with loose materials, inflatable bags to help support and protect cargo, tie downs, and shoring bars. Drivers hauling heavy loads should ensure that the items are properly secured. Properly securing a load entails the following:

  • Tying down objects with heavy-duty straps, rope, or netting;
  • Tying down large objects directly to the car, truck, or trailer;
  • Covering the entire load with a tarp or another protective cover; and
  • Ensuring that the vehicle can carry the weight of the load.

In addition, all drivers should avoid tailgating a vehicle carrying a heavy load. Drivers hauling large loads must maintain a safe speed and refrain from switching lanes or engaging in other unsafe conduct.

Liability for Dropped Cargo Accidents

The FMCSA maintains requirements on how truck cargo should be loaded and secured. The regulations indicate that cargo should be evenly distributed to avoid impeding the driver or other motorists’ ability to operate their vehicle safely. Those who suffer injuries from dropped cargo, falling debris, or other roadway obstructions may recover damages from the at-fault party. In these cases, a trucking company, an individual driver, a delivery company, or a government entity may be held responsible for any damages that resulted from their negligence.

Speak with a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Injuries Today—at No Cost to You

If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina car accident caused by roadway debris, it is crucial that you understand you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have over 95 years of hands-on experience helping injured motorists obtain the compensation they need to begin moving on with their lives. Given our vast experience, we know all the insurance companies’ tricks. We can help you effectively navigate your claim through the recovery process, ensuring you recover the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more about the Steinberg Law Firm and to schedule a free consultation with a Charleston car accident lawyer today, call 843-720-2800. Calling is free, and because we accept cases on a contingency basis, we will never ask you to pay for our legal services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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