The trucking industry plays a vital role in our economy and without it, we wouldn’t have access to many of the goods we are able to purchase locally. The fact is, “the movement of goods is critical to the economic health of a state, particularly in one such as South Carolina that has access to major ocean ports, seven regional airports, inland ports, rail lines and highways” [Source: South Carolina Department of Transportation]. Each day, truckers are responsible for transporting thousands and thousands of pounds of product and are sometimes required to travel across the country just to get their cargo to where it needs to go.
Now, as reliant as we are on the trucking industry, we must not forget that it does pose as a threat to other drivers that share the roadways with truckers as sometimes they are responsible transporting freight that is dangerous. A few instances when a truck would be considered to be transporting unsafe freight include:
- The freight being transported is dangerous as it is considered to be hazardous.
While some trucks are required to transport produce and other products that don’t put a person’s health at risk, others must transport hazardous materials that might be explosive, poisonous or even deadly if inhaled. In order for a trucking company to transport such materials, they must obtain a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) prior to transporting these highly hazardous materials, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). While all truckers must be extremely cautious and careful when operating a large truck, those behind the wheel of these vehicles that carry hazardous materials need to be especially careful as to not cause a collision. The fact is, if these vehicles were to engage in a crash, it could lead to the contents spilling out and potentially polluting the air and/or water nearby or even increasing the severity of the accident given the substance was flammable.
- The weight of the load exceeds state and federal regulations.
Another instance where a trucker might be considered to be transporting unsafe freight is when their load exceeds the weight limitations that have been set. Weight limitations do vary and depend on the size and type of truck being used to transport goods and/or substances. The reason trucking companies are subjected to abiding by these weight limitations is that each type of vehicle is only capable of carrying a certain amount of weight. In the event a trucker’s load was to go over the amount they are legally permitted to transport, lives are then put at risk as the truck could potentially tip over or have too much weight bearing down on its tires and could cause a flat.
There is no doubt that a trucker driver has a significant amount of responsibility placed on their shoulders as they are not only expected to get their load from one destination to the next, but they must do so safely. However, when a trucker or a company decides to transport hazardous materials they didn’t receive authorization to carry or they haul a load that is heavier than the amount of weight their vehicle can handle, they put their life as well as the lives of others around them at risk.
Now, if you were recently involved in a truck collision in Greenville or Spartanburg, SC and you believe the trucker was at-fault for causing it, it is best that you talk with SC truck crash attorney Paul Hammack to learn more about how he can help you prove liability. Not only will attorney Paul Hammack determine whether the company violated state and federal weight limitation rules, but he can also investigate into whether the company and/or the trucker may have also violated other laws that would help support your claims. In the event it can be proven that laws were broken, you may be able to pursue the trucker and even the company for damages for the injuries you suffered.
To learn more about how our office can help you, simply give us a call to schedule an initial consultation.