Trucks are powerful vehicles that haul heavy cargo across the U.S., but there are limits to what they can carry. Unfortunately, some trucking companies and truck drivers try to overload their trucks to transport more cargo in fewer trips to lower transportation costs and increase profits. Overloading a truck goes against the ethics of the logistics industry and increases the risk of accidents.
If you’ve recently been injured in an accident involving an overloaded truck, you might be entitled to collect compensation. Consider retaining a truck accident lawyer today to learn about your legal options.
Why Is Overloading a Truck Dangerous?
According to recent reports by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM), overloaded trucks are among the leading causes of truck accidents on U.S. roads. Despite all the laws and regulations that have been put in place to curb truck overloading, some trucking companies and truck drivers ignore them to increase their profit margins.
Overloaded trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on public roads. Even if the truck driver obeys traffic signs and other safety rules, such a vehicle still poses a severe threat to public road safety. The following are some dangers associated with overloaded trucks:
High Rollover Risk
When a truck is overloaded, its center of gravity shifts and increases. Since these trucks already have a higher center of gravity, the extra load makes them more unstable. Even a simple turn becomes risky when the truck is overloaded, as the vehicle can quickly become unbalanced and roll over.
Such a situation could lead to cargo spilling all over the roadway and creating potentially fatal situations for other drivers. In the case of hard cargo, it can block the road and cause other drivers to lose control. Toxic or flammable cargo can easily ignite and cause a dangerous explosion.
Even when a truck isn’t overloaded, it takes a longer distance to come to a stop than a small car. The truck driver may not be used to driving far behind other vehicles, and a slight miscalculation can lead to a fatal accident.
Sometimes when the load is too heavy, it can put unnecessary pressure on the braking systems and cause them to fail. Therefore, you must maintain a significant distance between your vehicle and a truck, even if you don’t think it’s overloaded.
When a truck is overloaded, it pressures some of its essential functions. For instance, an overloaded truck puts more pressure on the vehicle’s tires than designed. This may cause the tires to wear out faster than they should, which could easily lead to a tire blowout, especially if they are overinflated or punctured.
A tire blowout can cause a deadly collision if the truck driver doesn’t handle the situation in time. Also, the blown tire can cause more accidents if it’s left on the road or makes its way into traffic.
On top of causing a tire blowout, an overloaded truck can result in an axle snap and a host of other mechanical failures, such as transmission and suspension failure.
Difficult to Control
An overloaded truck can be tough to control, especially during bad weather conditions, such as fog, snow, and rain. Also, an overloaded truck may increase its speed on a downward slope, making it difficult for the vehicle to stop in time and avoid a collision.
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Who Is Responsible in an Accident Involving an Overloaded Truck?
Determining who is responsible for an accident involving an overloaded truck may be complex since several parties may be involved. These parties include:
- The trucking company
- The truck driver
- The owner of the cargo
- The third-party company that loaded the truck
- The distribution company
- The truck owner
- A combination of these parties
To receive compensation following an accident involving an overloaded truck, you must prove negligence in that one of these parties endangered your safety by allowing an overloaded truck on a public road. After proving fault, you might be eligible to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident.
What Other Factors Can Contribute to Truck Accidents?
Besides overloaded trucks, other factors lead to truck accidents, including:
- Distraction or inattention
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Not yielding the right of way
- Bad weather conditions
Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you’ve recently sustained injuries in an accident that involved an overloaded truck, consider hiring a truck accident lawyer on our team to guide you through the legal process.
At Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers, we are ready to help you build a strong case against the liable parties and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call for a free consultation and more information. Pay no upfront legal costs or fees unless we win for you.