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What makes improperly loaded cargo so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Blog, Truck Accidents |

Accidents that involve trucks tend to be among the most severe because of how big and heavy these types of vehicles are. And of all the reasons why a semi may cause an accident, one of the most common is when its cargo has been loaded improperly, which is something for California drivers to watch out for.


With an unbalanced load, a truck might not handle it in the way the driver expects it to. They might then be unprepared to deal with these irregularities and unable to react properly when unexpected obstacles or conditions appear on the road.

In some cases, if the imbalance is significant enough, it might even cause certain parts of the truck to fail. A semi truck’s axle housings, suspension, tires and frame can only take so much weight. Enough strain and any one of them may give out, and there’s no telling when it will happen. A vehicle failure might occur at the worst possible time when you least expect it, and it may leave the driver without enough time to react or do anything about it.


Truck accidents also often happen with trucks that haul an overweight load. The GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating that is assigned to each truck by the company that manufactured it. If a truck tows cargo that exceeds its designated GVWR, there’s a greater chance that the driver will lose control of the vehicle. This is especially true while going up or down hills.

Drivers may find themself going faster than expected while traveling down a decline, and more braking power is needed. With too much weight in the trailer, they may also experience a longer stopping distance than usual and have a harder time steering.


Improperly loaded cargo that is unsecured might shift unexpectedly, leading to an unbalanced trailer. The vehicle’s center of gravity may suddenly change when this happens. It might even lead to ejected cargo, which can hit other vehicles or present a hazard on the roadway.

There are various ways that a truck can be loaded poorly, increasing the chances of an accident. The three main categories of improperly loaded cargo are unbalanced, overweight or unsecured.