A loaded tractor trailer is a huge, heavy, and potentially dangerous vehicle. When properly loaded and carefully operated, truck wreck lawyers know these trucks can be very safe. Yet when they are overloaded, safety is greatly reduced. Unfortunately, truck wreck attorneys deal with many cases where people have been injured in truck wrecks that are attributed to overloading or improper loading.
Overloaded Trucks A Danger On Highways
The tractor trailers on U.S. highways are designed to safely carry many tons of cargo, provided the cargo is well-secured and under a certain weight. The federal agency that governs commercial carriers understands the mechanical limitations of these vehicles and how excess weight can affect them. They have instituted laws that loaded tractor trailers can weigh no more than 40 tons or 80,000 pounds.
Because of the significant risk overloaded trucks pose to everyone on the highway, weight limits are strictly enforced and violations severely penalized. Still, truck wreck lawyers find that many tractor trailers on the highway are overloaded despite the weight restriction.
Violations can occur inadvertently, when too much is loaded into a trailer without considering the overall weight of the entire combination or knowingly, in an effort to save money by shipping more goods at one time. Regardless of the reason, overloading is extremely dangerous and found to be the cause or a contributing factor in many truck wrecks.
Overloading Affects A Truck’s Performance
Overloading is a common, yet dangerous violation that affects a driver’s ability to control their truck. Truck wreck attorneys stress that a loaded tractor trailer moving at highway speed requires significant power to stop. These vehicles are designed to perform safely up to a certain limit. When that limit is exceeded, they become dangerous. Every additional pound of weight moving at highway speed creates more momentum, making the vehicle even harder to stop.
Overloaded tractor trailers also experience excess wear and tear on mechanical parts like brakes, tires, and suspension, which can contribute to safety and handling problems. Truck wreck lawyers find that overloading often plays a part in mechanical problems like tire blowouts and brake failure. Extra weight can also cause trucks to be unstable, increasing the possibility of tipover truck wrecks.
Hefty Fines for Weight Limit Violations
Properly loading and maintaining weight limits is the responsibility of every operator who drives a tractor trailer on the highway. When trucks are cited at weigh stations for exceeding federal weight limits or on the road for improperly securing their load or other related concerns, the penalties can be stiff. Truck wreck attorneys emphasize the importance of avoiding these fines and maintaining operational safety to prevent accidents.
Overloading tractor trailers for any reason is never acceptable. It is a common factor in many truck wrecks, including those that truck wreck lawyers know may have been prevented if drivers had adhered to federal weight restrictions.
In the interest of preventing future accidents, these same truck wreck attorneys stress the responsibility that tractor trailer operators have to know what the federal weight laws are and carefully monitor their loads to ensure compliance!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-581