Overloading: A Common Danger On Trucks
Overloading is one of the most common causes of preventable 18-wheeler accidents, according to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Under federal law truck drivers, trucking companies, and cargo loading companies must ensure they are not overloading their trucks so the risk of a serious crash is reduced.
However, in an effort to deliver more cargo to a destination faster, these parties often ignore the law and overload their trucks anyway. This can lead to many different types of accidents, including those involving falling cargo. Below, our San Antonio 18-wheeler accident lawyer explains more.
The Dangers of an Overloaded Truck
Overloaded trucks require a longer braking distance. This is particularly true when the roads are wet. A truck driver may not be accustomed to driving so far behind another vehicle and one small lapse in judgment could result in a serious or even fatal accident.
Overloading cargo on a truck also changes the truck’s center of gravity. This change makes it harder for truck drivers to control the vehicle, particularly when they are driving on an incline or when they are turning. Overloaded trucks are also much less stable than trucks that are loaded properly, and this can lead to a truck rolling over.
The cargo an overloaded truck carriers can also cause heavy cargo to fall off the truck, or out of the back. This is very common when a truck is carrying tires. Falling cargo can be a very serious danger to vehicles behind the truck, or in adjacent lanes.
The Law on the Weight of a Truck
There are laws pertaining to how much weight a truck is allowed to carry. If a trucking company, truck driver, or a third party does not comply with these laws, they may be held liable for paying financial compensation if the extra weight causes an accident.
All truck manufacturers in the country assign a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) to the trucks they create. The GVWR is the total weight including the suspension, axles, brakes, frame, and powertrain. Each rating has a corresponding weight the truck is allowed to carry and the rating indicates how much weight the truck is allowed to carry.
The majority of trucks in the United States cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. There are some exceptions for trucks that have special permits, but they are limited. Common trucking routes, such as interstate highways, have special weigh stations set up. Truckers are required to check into these stations randomly to ensure they are not carrying more than they should.
Our 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Help After a Crash
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you may not know right away if the crash was caused by overloading. At the Law Offices of Israel Garcia, our San Antonio 18-wheeler accident lawyer will conduct a full investigation to determine the cause of your accident, and help you claim the full compensation you are entitled to. Call us now at 210-LAW-9999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.