Overloaded Trucks Accidents
Usually when the topic of truck accidents comes up, we think “driver error.” There’s good reason for this. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is by far and away the number one cause of trucking accidents. However, there’s a real problem with some trucks on the roads being overloaded.
How do we know if a truck is overloaded?
The FMCSA requires that trucks must not be greater than 20,000 pounds per axle. This means that a truck’s weight, with a load, should not exceed 80,000 pounds.
Why is an Overloaded Truck a Problem?
An overloaded truck is a problem for many reasons. Below are just some:
- The heavier a truck gets, the more difficulty it has in stopping to avoid an accident;
- The heavier a truck is, the more likely it is that it will have a tire blowout;
- An overweight truck traveling downhill will travel faster and become more difficult to stop;
- A truck that is too heavy makes the brakes more susceptible to failure;
- An overloaded truck is more prone to rollover; and
- Overweight trucks cause roadways and bridges to wear out prematurely.
Who is Responsible for Making Sure Trucks are not Overloaded?
Generally, the trucking company and/or the trucker is responsible for making sure that its trucks are in compliance with federal weight limits. Sometimes, lawsuits are also filed against shipping companies and weigh station officials that permit an overweight truck to continue on its way even after a weigh in.
While there are safeguard such as the FMSCA regulations, sometimes companies put profit over safety and disregard regulations. Sometimes this leads to serious accidents and serious injuries and death. In the last 20 years, there has been a 20% increase in trucking accidents. Given the size of most trucks, especially ones that are overloaded and overweight, if involved in an accident, the harm caused can be catastrophic.
If You or a Love One was Involved in a Truck Accident, Please Do Not Delay!
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, the last thing you may want to do is contact a lawyer. However, keep in mind that generally, as soon as a truck is involved in a collision, the trucking company (and its insurance company) is notified. “Investigators” of the trucking company will often head to the scene of the accident, sometimes immediately. They begin collecting evidence most likely with an eye to what will be in their best interests. Trucking companies know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident. It only makes sense that you get a trucking accident lawyer on your side right away to begin preserving evidence and investigating what happened.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident, please call us so we can begin leveling the playing field. Initial consultations are absolutely free. Call us at 312-957-4166. You will not owe us anything unless and until we obtain compensation for you. In short, we’re in this together.