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How overloaded trucks lead to motor vehicle fatalities

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2019 | blog

As a Texas motorist, you are no stranger to driving beside diverse types of vehicles on the road. You know your safety depends partially on other motorists operating their automobiles responsibly. When it comes to semi-trailers and large commercial trucks, you know many factors can impact road safety. You become apprehensive every time you drive near them. Despite the fact that there are numerous federal and local regulations in place to prevent large commercial and 18-wheeler truck accidents, overload violations still occur that often have catastrophic consequences for car and truck accident victims. 

Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are some of the largest vehicles to grace the roads. They carry huge payloads. Many companies offer truck operators incentives to encourage them to beat or meet delivery deadlines. Some truck operators overload their vehicles and violate other regulations so they can make fewer trips and reap the benefits, not realizing or caring that their actions impact everyone on the roads with them. 

Commercial and tractor-trailer vehicles have weight restrictions 

Federal law requires commercial trucks to not exceed a gross weight capacity of 80,000 pounds. Truck owners and operators must check their vehicles to ensure they are not overweight to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. There are also weight stations and other regulatory practices in place to help reduce the number of overweight commercial vehicles on the roads. Adding products that exceed the capacity compromises their ability to operate their vehicles safely and increases the dangers of malfunctions and breakdowns. 

The dangers of overweight tractor trailers

Trucks that have overweight cargo are harder to control. It takes more time for them to stop. Traffic conditions change often, and truckers with overloaded vehicles require greater stopping distances. Brakes and other safety equipment and tech are more likely to fail, and tires can blowout from the additional stresses of being loaded beyond capacity. There is also the danger of a trailer becoming unbalanced during turns and jackknifing. 

Truck accident victims are not always fortunate enough to walk away from the scene. The most common types of motorist injury in car and tractor-trailer collisions include crush injuries, severe burns and death.