Recently, a tractor-trailer overturned while taking the ramp from inbound on the Southwest Freeway to southbound on the West Loop 610. Fortunately, the driver was not injured, but his load of cotton was strewn upon the highway, and some fell to the ramp below, blocking traffic for five hours.
The driver apparently stated that his load shifted as he attempted the turn on the exit ramp. According to news reports, investigators said the driver was also going too fast.
This incident highlights the importance of two critical aspects of truck safety. First, all loads must be secured properly. Shifting loads can suddenly destabilize a trailer and cause the entire rig to overturn. While that certainly presents a hazard at 11:00 o’clock p.m., when this crash occurred, the risks imposed upon motorists is even greater during rush hour or when the more cars are on the freeway.
Secondly, drivers must constantly monitor their speed. When an 18-wheeler begins to lose control, a safer speed provides the driver with more time to react, potentially avoiding a collision.
Truckers, and the companies they haul for, must use vigilance when assuring the proper loading of their cargo. And, those who drive rigs that may reach 80,000 pounds obviously must maintain proper speeds. Only then can our roads be safe for all who use them.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.