Every person who ever interacts with a commercial truck as part of its operation needs to take their role seriously and keep the safety of others as the priority. This list of accountability includes the load crews who are responsible for putting cargo and freight into tractor trailers for shipping and transport. Typical weight limits for 18-wheelers are set at 80,000 pounds of total weight, which is the truck’s body and its freight combined. If load crews overload a truck beyond the maximum limit, the entire vehicle becomes a dangerous hazard to other drivers on the highway.
Dangers Caused by Overloaded Big Rigs
Some of the dangers an overloaded truck creates are:
- Brake ineffectiveness: The braking system on a commercial truck is already under a great deal of pressure to stop such a massive vehicle safely. When a truck is overloaded, the brakes are rendered inefficient or totally ineffective, which may cause the truck to slam into other cars in an awful rear-end accident.
- Jackknife accidents: If the weight of the backend of a trailer far exceeds the weight of the tractor, sudden braking or turns can cause the trailer to whip forward through adjacent lanes, eventually overcoming the tractor itself. This type of truck accident is called a jackknife and often causes destruction across three or more lanes.
- Tipping: Freight that is too heavy for a truck often is stacked too high as well. This is a recipe for a tipping trailer, which can be blown over by strong winds or rocked over while the truck turns. Any smaller vehicles in adjacent lanes are in extreme danger of crushing.
- Debris: The axle system of an overloaded truck is structurally jeopardized more and more with every passing moment the truck remains on the move. Eventually, the weight can start to snap or disintegrate the axles and connected mechanical pieces, throwing heavy and large pieces of debris backwards into following traffic.
If you have been hurt by an overloaded commercial truck and need compensation, you can contact Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys for legal guidance. We have years of personal injury experience, including a recent truck accident case result that ended with nearly $20 million recovered for our client. Get in touch with our Corpus Christi truck accident lawyers today to begin your claim.