One second and a bad decision is all it takes to cause a life-changing accident. A driver in Forsyth county is dead all because another driver didn't secure furniture in a trailer.

Troopers say black truck was towing the recliner on its trailer along U.S. 421 Wednesday morning, when the recliner fell off into the middle of the road.

The driver of a red pickup truck stopped in the road because of the recliner. Troopers say that's when a van struck the truck and overturned on the side of the highway.

A green passenger car also struck the red truck.

The driver of the van was killed in the crash. Troopers identified the man as Robert Long, 53, of Winston-Salem.

Investigators are still looking for the driver who lost the recliner.

No matter where you're going or what you're carrying in your truck or on your car, you want to make sure your cargo is secure.

Robert Clinton, owner of Clinton Painting Services, has to do this every day he works to make sure his ladder doesn't fall off his truck. He secures it from the bottom and the top, the front and the back using straps, and adds it's never fallen off.

He says it takes about 10-15 minutes to do it, but it's worth it every time.

"If you ever ride behind somebody who's not strapped down, you understand immediately it's extremely dangerous," Clinton says. "If that were to come off on highway speeds the impact could be potentially lethal."

To break that down, an object weighing just 20 pounds, like a car tire, can create an impact of half a ton. That's about as heavy as a grand piano.

The safety concerns are obvious, but not securing your cargo can also cost you! If you lose something on the road it's considered littering. The fine could be up to $2,000 plus points on your license.

As a driver, you need to drive defensively, too, especially if you're near a vehicle with an unsecured load. Make sure you're not tailgaiting. The North Carolina DMV's driver's manual recommends you keep at least 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you.

You can use whatever is necessary to make sure your load is secure, like rope, straps, even a rack on the roof. You can also cover whatever you're trying to carry with a net or tarp, to better hold it in.