Driving down the highways of Louisiana, encounters with countless trucks transporting goods from one corner of the state to another are commonplace.
While these massive vehicles play a significant role in the economy, one should not underestimate the dangers of improperly loaded trucks.
1. Overloaded cargo
When a truck carries more weight than its designated capacity, it becomes a ticking time bomb on the road. Overloaded cargo not only strains the vehicle’s structural integrity but also compromises its braking capabilities. This can lead to longer stopping distances, increasing the likelihood of rear-end collisions and catastrophic accidents.
2. Uneven weight distribution
Proper weight distribution is important for maintaining stability on the road. An improperly loaded truck with uneven weight distribution can become difficult to control, especially during turns or sudden maneuvers. This imbalance increases the risk of rollovers, putting both the truck driver and others sharing the road in peril.
3. Shifting cargo
Loose or improperly secured freight can move unexpectedly, causing the truck to sway or jackknife. This not only endangers the truck driver but also poses a serious threat to nearby vehicles, leading to collisions that proper loading procedures would eliminate.
4. Heightened risk of tire blowouts
Exceeding weight limits puts excessive stress on a truck’s tires, increasing the likelihood of blowouts. A blown tire at high speeds can lead to loss of control, resulting in devastating accidents. Regularly inspecting and ensuring proper loading can help prevent this dangerous scenario.
Of the 1,278 fatal crashes that occurred in Louisiana in 2022, 74 involved trucks. Along with distracted driving and other common risks, the dangers of a poorly loaded truck on Louisiana roads are clear and present.