Overloaded trucks pose a significant risk to everyone on the road. Here, the attorneys at Kendall Law Firm discuss the dangers and safety implications of truck overloading and improperly loaded trucks, as well as the legal consequences when these vehicles cause accidents.
The Hazards of Overloaded Trucks
Some of the most notable hazards of overloaded trucks include:
- Compromised Braking Distance – If a truck is overloaded, the additional weight negatively impacts its ability to stop in time to avoid an accident. The more weight the vehicle has, the more braking distance it requires. An accident could occur because the driver cannot stop in time once they recognize a hazard.
- Reduced Maneuverability – A truck risks jackknifing if it is overloaded or improperly loaded. When a truck jackknifes, its trailer swings around and toward the cab, which can cause collisions with other vehicles on the road, especially if the truck driver loses control and cannot steer the vehicle.
- Stability and Rollover Accidents – Overly heavy or unsafely loaded cargo affects the vehicle’s overall stability and increases the risk of a rollover.
- Tire Blowouts – Tire blowouts are common on trucks carrying too much weight. The truck tires have weight limits and will fail if the overall weight placed on them exceeds the maximum allowable weight for the tires. A sudden tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and collide with other vehicles on the road.
- Strain on Vehicle Components – Certain vehicle components, like the suspension system, can be compromised if too much weight is put on them. Overloading can cause cracks or strain to these components, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Truck drivers and companies must adhere to state and federal regulations regarding the loading and securing of cargo. Failure to comply may have significant legal consequences for both parties.
Improper Cargo Distribution and its Consequences
A truck can only operate safely if its cargo has been properly loaded and secured. Unsafe cargo distribution in the truck trailer can affect the vehicle’s maneuverability, especially if the driver brakes to avoid a collision. Poor weight distribution can lead to jackknifing, resulting in severe overload truck accidents and injuries.
Inadequate Securing of Loads: Risks and Complications
Failing to properly secure the truck’s load poses a significant threat to other motorists. The truck could jackknife or overturn, crushing other vehicles in its path. Unsecured loads can also impact a trucker’s braking abilities. If the improperly secured load suddenly shifts forward, the driver may be unable to account for the additional braking distance, resulting in a rear-end accident. The cargo could also fall out of the truck, posing a serious risk to nearby motorists.
Legal Implications and Liability
An overloaded truck accident can be a complex legal matter because more than one party may be liable for the crash, potentially including the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or the company that loaded the truck. Because operating an overloaded truck violates regulations and industry standards, the responsible parties should be held accountable.
Seeking Legal Assistance for Truck Accident Cases
If you were injured in an overloaded truck accident, you need an experienced attorney that knows truck accident law. You need the Kendall Law Firm. Contact us today to discuss your case in a free case consultation.