Large trucks that haul freight are massive in terms of weight and size. These two characteristics alone make them dangerous to the driving public. They require more braking distance, lack the maneuverability of cars, and can cause devastating trucking accidents when involving smaller vehicles. These dangers are also typical of flatbed trucks. However, flatbed trucks present additional hazards. These include:
Empty Flatbed Trailers Are Difficult to See at Night
Flatbed trailers have a narrow profile when viewed from the side. If their side lighting and reflectors are covered with dirt, they're invisible at night to cars approaching them from the side. Dangerous situations happen when the truck pulls in front of a car at an intersection. The car only sees the tractor, and when it passes behind the tractor, it slams into the side of the trailer. The result is a deadly underride collision. Stalled out flatbed trucks in the middle of a highway present a similar collision hazard.
Flatbed Trailers Lack Walls for Retaining Their Cargo
Without the containment walls of dry van trailers, flatbeds strictly rely on proper securement of their loads to the trailer. These loads are often oversized or awkwardly shaped, which make their securement all the more difficult. Generally speaking, cargo spillage is more likely to happen on a flatbed trailer than a dry van trailer. Depending on the size of the cargo, it can either present dangerous road obstacles to cars or it can crush them.
Because proper securement of oversized items isn't easy, they may fall off when the truck brakes hard or when the cargo shifts. Sometimes, a pothole can sufficiently jar the cargo to dislodge it. This can have catastrophic consequences with large cargo such as large logs or heavy construction equipment. Another consequence is that even well-secured cargo is more likely to fall off in an accident, which endangers other vehicles.
If you were injured in an accident by a flatbed or other type of truck, our lawyers can review your case to learn who is liable. Contact us for a free consultation.