Potential Liability Is Motivation to Secure Your Cargo

We have all encountered those drivers who don’t seem to realize that unsecured cargo can fall off their cars or pickup trucks. If you’re the type of driver who doesn’t feel it necessary to secure cargo before you hit the road, what would motivate you to change your mind? Would potential liability do the trick?

Civil courts often determine liability after a car crash involving fallen cargo. In some cases, liability is assigned to just one person. In other cases, it’s shared among multiple parties. The one constant is this: drivers who do not take the necessary precautions to secure cargo are likely to take most of the blame when that cargo falls into the road.

State Cargo Securement Laws

Federal and state laws require commercial trucking operations to practice proper cargo securement procedures. But cargo securement doesn’t end with big rigs and dump trucks. State laws requiring that cargo be secured also apply to passenger cars, pickup trucks, and motorcycles.

Take a look at your own state’s laws. The chances are pretty good that there are laws on the books requiring you to secure any type of cargo you choose to carry on any type of vehicle. That means cargo on the roof of your sedan, a boat on the back of a trailer, or an ATV in a pickup truck. The laws even apply to caring landscaping materials on a utility trailer.

If Something Falls Off

State laws are in place to prevent accidents caused by cargo falling from vehicles and onto the road. What if something does fall off while you’re driving? In a best-case scenario, it would bounce to the side of the road without further incident. No damage done; no injuries caused. But things don’t always happen that way.

Cargo falling from a moving vehicle instantly becomes a projectile. It can smash into a car following behind in the blink of an eye. Falling cargo can also bounce off the roadway and hit cars traveling in other lanes. In a worst-case scenario, it would make contact with multiple cars before finally coming to rest at the side of the road.

The potential for injuring or killing someone else should be motivation enough to secure your cargo. But if it’s not, think about legal liability.

You Could Pay Big

Imagine a car accident caused by cargo falling from your car. You’re sued in either a personal injury or wrongful death suit. The court will review all the evidence in the case and then assign liability. If you are found even partially liable for the accident, you could find yourself owing millions of dollars.

The maddening thing is that these sorts of car crashes don’t have to happen. It takes very little time and effort to properly secure cargo if you know what you’re doing. For example, a handful of Rollercam tie-down straps will keep those ladders you’re carrying on the top of your minivan secure. Rollercam cam straps are easy to use and can be deployed in mere minutes.

If cam straps aren’t your thing, secure your cargo with rope. Use chains if you need to. Bear in mind that the entire concept of liability revolves around the fact that you can do something to keep cargo secure. If you fail to do it, you are liable for the results.

To me, liability is less important than the fact that falling cargo can injure and kill people. But if the threat of liability is what it takes to get people to secure their cargo, I’m all for it.

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