The Risks Of Overloading A Commercial Vehicle
Commercial vehicles are designed to carry a lot of cargo over great distances. This does not mean, however, that there are no limits to how much these trucks can carry. Unfortunately, despite strict rules on weight limits, many companies routinely overload their vehicles in an effort to transport more products in a single trip. Doing so is extremely dangerous for anyone else on the road, making it especially important for motorists to keep an eye out for the telltale signs of an overloaded truck.
Signs of an Overloaded Truck
It’s not always possible to tell when a commercial vehicle is carrying more than it is designed to transport. There are, however, a few signs that could indicate that a truck’s cargo exceeds federal or state weight limit restrictions, such as:
- A lack of bouncing, which is indicative that the suspension springs on the truck’s wheels are compressed from overloading;
- Cargo bulging or leaning over the sides of the truck, or stacked over the top of the truck;
- A truck struggling to slow down, which is common among trucks with heavier loads; and
- A truck driver’s inability to maintain a straight path, or to regain control of the truck.
If you see any of these signs, you should do your best to steer clear of the truck in question, as there are a lot of risks associated with overloading trucks, and not just to the truck’s driver.
The Dangers of an Overloaded Truck
Both federal and state regulations dictate how cargo is loaded on commercial vehicles. This includes specific rules on how cargo is secured, how weight is distributed, and how much a truck can actually carry. Failing to abide by these rules is dangerous, as it:
- Increases the chances of a rollover accident;
- Makes it more likely that the trailer will jackknife, swinging across multiple lanes of traffic and even rolling over;
- Places too much stress on the truck’s brakes and tires, which can in turn cause tire blowouts and brake failure; and
- Gives truck drivers a lot less control when driving on wet roads or in inclement weather.
These dangers pose a very real risk to other road users, as a jackknifing truck, or a truck that cannot be stopped can easily cause the kinds of catastrophic multi-car pile-ups that so often make the news. Fortunately, truck drivers and trucking companies that overload their vehicles can be held liable for their negligence if it causes an accident.
Here to Help with Your Truck Accident Case
As what you might call a big small law firm, Anderson & Anderson has a large support staff and two experienced Tampa truck accident attorneys, which enables us to ensure that every aspect of your case is handled properly, but that you receive our personalized attention. We are also one of the longest-running personal injury firms in the city, so we are very familiar with the court system in Hillsborough County. We are eager to put this experience and knowledge to work in your own case. Call us at 813-251-0072 to get started.