Commercial trucks are large and unwieldy. Weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, semi-trucks are already dangerous for other drivers on the road. When they are overloaded or improperly loaded, however, they can easily cause deadly accidents. Learn more about the dangers of overloaded trucks on the roads.
Federal regulations cap the weight limit of commercial vehicles at 80,000 pounds, but that doesn’t mean all trucks are able to safely handle that much weight. The capacity of a truck is determined by a number of components, including the braking system, drivetrain, tires, axles, frame, and engine. Each truck should have a sticker detailing the cargo capacity of the truck. Exceeding this capacity can put extra wear on the truck and cause breakdowns or dangerous failures.
Extra weight can not only strain the systems of the truck but also can make the truck difficult to handle. Drivers of overloaded trucks can easily lose control and cause a deadly accident. Rollovers, jackknifing, and runaway trucks are all a danger when a truck is carrying too much weight. An out-of-control truck can easily hit other cars or be hit by other cars as the driver struggles to bring the truck back under control.
There is a great deal of pressure on loading crews and drivers to transport cargo quickly to its destination. Cargo loading crews or trucking companies may overload trucks to get more cargo to its destination and to get it there more cheaply. An overloaded truck may seem like a way to save money, but it can end in costly, deadly accidents.
A truck’s load may not need to exceed the legal weight limit or the capacity of the truck to be dangerous. A truck that is improperly loaded can be just as great of a hazard as a truck that is overloaded. When trucks are loaded, they should be loaded in a balanced, even fashion. Loading the cargo too much to one side or the other may cause the truck to tip or can make turns difficult to maneuver through. Loading the cargo in a way that is top heavy can also cause rollovers. It is critical that the loading crew takes plenty of care to balance the load in a way that will remain safe for the duration of the trip.
A load may also shift in transit. If the load isn’t properly secured, the cargo can shift and become unbalanced. The cargo can also fall from the truck and onto the roadway or other vehicles. Cargo that has shifted inside the trailer can fall out when the trailer is opened, and potentially injure the driver, unloading crew, or bystanders.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, our Philadelphia trucking accident attorneys are here to help. The Beasley Firm has been serving our clients since 1958 with caring, personalized client service and we are dedicated to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
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