Overweight / Overloaded Trucks

t should go without saying that overloaded and overweight trucks are a danger to U.S. roadways. Many semi trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, but when they’re overloaded or overweight, they pose specific and significant dangers to other motorists. Not only do they have a decrease in steering and stopping capabilities, they also pose a higher risk of rollover accidents due to their higher and heavier center of gravity. If you were in a truck accident, it’s important to have a skilled truck accident attorney on your case. Overloaded trucks aren’t always immediately apparent, so it’s important to have somebody who can stay on top of all investigative details on your side.

Weight Restrictions on Semi Trucks

By federal and state law, semi trucks, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks have to obey by certain weight restrictions. These are weight limits that are designed to keep trucks from being overloaded or overweight. Since overloaded trucks pose a much higher risk to roadway safety, it’s essential for commercial drivers and trucking companies to abide by al federal and state weight safety regulations. Trucks are large and heavy enough without being illegally overloaded. An overloaded truck is a dangerous truck. Truck drivers have enough to deal with without also worrying about the reduced performance capabilities of an overweight truck.

Risks Associated with Overweight Trucks

Some of the most serious risks associated with overweight trucks include decreased stopping power and a higher center of gravity. Since these trucks are heavier than they’re supposed to be, they’re not going to perform up to federal, state and industry safety standards. With a higher center of gravity, a truck is more likely to roll over or fall over and crush smaller cars in certain types of accidents. These trucks are also much more dangerous when traveling through hills or mountains. An overloaded truck is going much slower going up hills, which can be dangerous for other motorists who expect cars and trucks to be moving at the correct speed. Additionally, an overweight truck will also be way too fast down hill, and may be difficult to stop. Fewer things are scarier than a runaway truck on a downhill road.

Overloaded Trucks and Stopping Power

Ultimately, the most troubling concern with overweight and overloaded semi trucks is stopping power. A truck that is too heavy is going to have difficulty stopping. Even under the best conditions, 18-wheelers can be difficult to stop. They need more room than smaller passenger occupant vehicles to stop in the event of an emergency. An overloaded truck is like playing with fire. The heavier the truck, the more difficult it will be to stop. Not only is it about stopping such a large mass, the weight can also impact braking systems. The weight, combined with the reduced braking capabilities puts other motorists in serious danger of being rear ended or run over by runaway trucks.

Other Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
  • Increased possibility of rolling due to higher center of gravity
  • Decreased steering capabilities
  • Decreased uphill speed capabilities
  • More stopping distance required
  • Excessive downhill speeds

Damages Associated With Overloaded Truck Accidents

Damages associated with overloaded truck accidents can include hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, a loss of future earnings and property damage. If you were in an accident with an overweight truck, your car was probably totaled and you probably have to spend an extensive period of time in the hospital. Any accident involving an 18-wheeler is going to be serious for a person in a smaller passenger occupant vehicle. Especially where overloaded trucks are concerned, you need to discuss the extent of your damages with your attorney.

Who to Call After a Truck Accident

After an accident involving an overloaded or overweight truck, it’s important to talk to a skilled personal injury attorney about your case. Even if you’re not sure if overloading was a factor in your accident, it’s still a good idea to speak with an attorney. Truck accident cases often require additional investigative efforts due to the federal and state regulations associated with the trucking industry. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to play by the rules, and when they don’t, people get hurt.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an overloaded or overweight truck accident in Jackson, Mississippi or the surrounding areas, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation today.

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