At some point in our lives, we have all seen the “oversize load” or “wide load” signs on large trucks traveling on the roadways. Transportation of these loads is necessary for construction, manufacturing, and other industries. But, if the loads are not in compliance with weight limits imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA), it can cause a serious risk to the truck driver and particularly to other motorists.
The maximum weight allowed on the roadways by federal law is 80,000 pounds. This includes the weight of the truck itself, so the cargo must be less than the maximum minus the truck weight. However, there is more to weight compliance than just the maximum weight allowed. The number of axles on the truck and how far apart they are spaced also limit the maximum amount of weight a truck can carry. While the formulas for determining maximum weight might seem complicated, there are numerous weigh stations where trucks can be inspected to ensure they are following federal regulations. It is the trucking companies’ responsibility to ensure their trucks are not overweight.
Overweight trucks can cause devastating accidents in a variety of ways. Excessive weight makes trucks more difficult to control and take longer to come to a complete stop. Additionally, the weight can easily cause tire blowouts, which can cause total loss of control of the truck. Perhaps the greatest threat of overweight trucks is the increased likelihood of a truck rollover. Truck rollover occurs because extra weight moves a truck’s center of gravity, making it unstable. Rollovers can cause major accidents and devastating damage to other motorists on the roadway.
Because of their weight and size, trucks have the potential to cause more damage than other motor vehicles. Trucking companies have a responsibility to follow the safety guidelines imposed on them, but they do not always do so. In an effort to meet tight deadlines and cut costs, some companies may overload a truck, but this can have deadly consequences.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident with an overweight truck, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and hold the negligent parties responsible. Contact the experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorneys at Hoffoss Devall for a free consultation to discuss your case.