Have you ever found yourself driving behind another vehicle, scared to death because the other driver didn’t appear to put much thought into tying down his cargo? I see it all the time. For some reason, the people in my local area don’t seem to understand the principle of using tiedown straps or ropes.
If you are the kind of driver who scares the rest of us by not securing your loads, please stop. Use tiedowns. Throwing some rope or a couple of straps over your load only takes a few minutes. When all is said and done, you could be preventing an accident that would otherwise send one of us to the hospital – or worse.
Accidents Are Waiting to Happen
We know that the failure to secure your cargo isn’t an intentional attempt to hurt somebody. You are not purposely trying to spill your load while doing 65 mph down the freeway. But accidents happen. Sometimes they are just waiting to happen because unstable loads aren’t secured.
An accident from back in 2021 illustrates things simply enough. It involved a semi loaded with hay and traveling down US Highway 101 in Washington State. The driver was just doing his job. He was doing what he always did. As he rounded a curve that he had probably rounded hundreds of times before, part of his load broke loose and fell off the truck.
Thankfully, the Washington State Patrol said the crash didn’t result in any injuries. Things could have ended much worse. Yet that does not change the reality that a dangerous load fell off.
Every Load Is Potentially Dangerous
The thing about carrying loads on trailers and in the backs of pickup trucks is that every load is potentially dangerous. Sure, cargo on the back of a semi is almost always bulky and heavy. Of course it’s going to be dangerous if it falls off in transit. But things are no different when you are carrying household goods in the back of a pickup.
That unsecured dining room chair teetering on the top of a mountain of home furnishings becomes a dangerous projectile if it falls off the truck. At highway speeds, it could pierce a windshield and kill somebody.
Unsecured brooms and rakes in the back of a landscaper’s utility trailer can become airborne missiles at any time. Even gravel being transported home from the DIY store can be a menace if the wind catches it and sends pieces flying through the air.
Securing a Load Isn’t Hard
Seeing drivers tooling down the road with unsecured loads is scary enough when you think of all the potential dangers. But fear is often exacerbated by the frustration of knowing that securing loads isn’t hard. It doesn’t take a college education or an entire afternoon of your time.
A couple of Rollercam cam buckle straps will secure your furniture while you move across town. A blue tarp and six bungee cords will keep all that gravel inside your trailer. Those rakes and brooms can be secured with bungees, straps, or rope.
For the record, nearly every state has laws on the books requiring drivers to secure their loads. The laws apply regardless of the type of vehicle being driven or the load it carries. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that nothing falls or flies off their vehicles in transit.
If you are the kind of driver who tends to be careless with your loads, the rest of us beg you to change your ways. Riding behind you is a scary proposition we just don’t need.