Risks of Overloaded & Improperly Loaded Trucks
Commercial trucks are highly regulated by federal and state laws, mostly because they are quite cumbersome to drive and can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. If they lose control, they can cause a devastating amount of damage to people and property alike. These laws are designed to protect not only other people but also the roads and highways on which commercial trucks drive. These regulations are what determine the maximum weight limit of commercial vehicles; however, overloading and improper loading do occur.
Commercial trucks should never weigh more than 80,000 pounds without a special permit, and each truck has its own safe carrying capacity. A smaller semi truck may not be able to carry what a larger one does. The capacity of a vehicle is determined by its braking system, tires, axles, drivetrain, frame, and engine. Each truck should also have a sticker detailing its cargo capacity. When people overload the truck, the excess weight can cause wear on the vehicle and cause breakdowns or other dangerous failures.
Excessive weight can also make the truck difficult to handle. When going downhill, for example, the excessive weight can easily cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle, potentially causing it to rollover or jackknife. Out-of-control trucks can easily strike other cars, and the excessive weight behind this hit can increase the force with which it does damage.
Likewise, if the vehicle isn’t overweight but is improperly loaded, it can be just as dangerous. Cargo should be placed on the truck in a balanced and even fashion. Putting too much weight on one side of the vehicle, for example, can cause one side of the truck to overbalance on the highway, tipping over the truck. A loading crew should take the time and care to balance the load in a way that will maintain the safety of the vehicle for the length of the trip.
All cargo must also be secured properly. A well-balanced cargo hold will mean nothing if a turn or stop causes the items inside to go flying. If the truck is open, unsecured cargo can also easily fly off the truck onto the roadway or other vehicles. Likewise, if the cargo has shifted inside a closed trailer, the contents could injury whoever opens the doors of the truck later.
If someone you know has been injured by an overloaded or improperly loaded truck, he or she might be able to seek compensation for that injury. Someone may have been responsible for overloading or improperly loading a truck, and if that person’s negligence led directly to the injury of another person, he or she should be held responsible for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the negligence.
Habbas & Associates is a firm dedicated to helping the victims of personal injury seek compensation for the harm done to them. Our skilled San Jose truck accident attorneys have more than 175 years of combined legal experience to put to work on their behalf. Over the course of our history, we have won more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements on our clients’ behalf. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (888) 387-4053 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation with us today.