The massive size and weight of trucks like these can easily lead to catastrophic crashes. One thing that can make these behemoths even more dangerous is overloaded cargo.
Trucks are supposed to be loaded according to federal regulations to keep everyone safe. When a truck driver, the trucking company, or the people responsible for loading the cargo do not follow these regulations, it can have devastating consequences.
What Regulations Are Mandated for Truck Cargo Loading?
It is illegal to overload a commercial vehicle. All commercial trucks must obey the limits on a federal level, though each state may have different standards for intrastate travel.
Federally, the law limits the weight of commercial trucks to 80,000 pounds — on a single axle, the limit is 20,000 pounds. Distributing the weight on the axles and wheels is required for safety purposes.
If a big rig is overloaded, it can compromise the stability of the truck. It also makes it difficult for a truck driver to safely operate the vehicle.
Risks of Overloaded Trucks on the Road
There are many added dangers that large trucks can have on the road when they are overloaded.
Need for Even Greater Stopping Distance
Large trucks already require a greater stopping distance. When they are overloaded, the excess weight puts more strain on the braking system. This can compromise stopping efficiency. Since it takes longer to come to a full and safe stop, it reduces the time allowed to react and avoid collisions.
Reduced Vehicle Stability
When a semi-truck is overloaded, it creates a major imbalance in the vehicle’s stability. The excess weight changes the truck’s center of gravity, which impedes vehicle control. Overloaded trucks are more prone to swaying, rollovers, or loss of control when performing turns or evasive maneuvers.
Danger of Tire Blowouts
Trucks that carry loads over their weight limits put more stress on the tires. These tires may be designed to handle a lot, but when they are taxed beyond their limitations, they have a greater chance of a blowout. If a tire blows out on a massive truck, it can lead to loss of control and may cause a horrific accident.
An overloaded truck can block the driver’s line of sight. This reduces their visibility, and when rearview mirrors and blind spots become compromised in this way, the trucker can’t rely on them to operate the vehicle safely. They may miss an important road sign or signal, not see nearby vehicles, or misgauge safe distances for merging.
Was the Truck Overloaded in Your Accident?
After a truck accident, you may have serious injuries that you need to be treated immediately. To determine who was at fault for the truck crash, an investigation must be conducted.
Atruck accident lawyer can ensure that every aspect is considered. If the truck was overloaded, the liable parties will be held accountable for their negligent actions.