Not every accident involving a large truck involves a collision between vehicles. Unsecured loads pose a huge threat to other vehicles on roadways. If cargo comes loose and falls from the truck, it can cause serious damage and severe injuries.
The key to preventing an accident or death from an unsecured load is law enforcement catching these drivers before the load comes loose.
Lack of good laws
However, even if law enforcement stops a truck and prevents an accident, SecureYourLoad.com explains that state laws are simply not holding drivers responsible. Many states lack sufficient laws to make it clear that unsecured loads are a serious offense with punishments mainly being low fines.
In those states, the rate of injuries and deaths from such accidents is much higher than in states with more regulations in place. Stiffer penalties, such as jail time and fines over $500, serve as a better deterrent and hold drivers more responsible.
Laws in Virginia and Maryland
The Code of Virginia states that driving with an unsecured load is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Drivers must pay for any damage or clean up for any loose item that falls from their trucks and could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500.
The Maryland Transportation Authority explains an unsecured load in this state is a citable offense for which a driver could receive a $90 fine.
These two states show a clear distinction between how states handle unsecured loads. The chances are good that drivers pay more attention to their loads in Virginia due to the much stiffer penalties possible should their loads come loose.