Because of regulations controlled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial trucks must abide by a specific weight limit. Additionally, the trailer must be properly loaded so the weight is distributed evenly. Unfortunately, there are times when big rigs are overloaded or improperly loaded, both of which can potentially cause a serious collision on the road.
The FMCSA sets a weight limit to help prevent serious crashes from occurring. This is because a truck that is transporting an overweight trailer is susceptible to wear and tear, possibly damaging the tow hitch, brakes, engine, tires, or other components of the truck. This increases the likelihood of a crash because a truck can lose control or the trailer can release, striking another vehicle on the road.
An overloaded trailer also makes it more difficult for trucks to travel uphill or stop while going downhill. If the driver must make a sudden stop to avoid traffic, the weight of the trailer could also cause the truck to jackknife, making all other vehicles and drivers on the road vulnerable to the dangers.
Improperly Loaded Trailers
Trailers should be loaded with cargo evenly, distributing weight throughout the trailer as opposed to one specific area. If the trailer is improperly loaded, it can cause more pressure to one side of the truck, including the tires. It can also make a turn over more possible if the truck makes a sharp turn.
If the truck is traveling up a steep hill or down a steep hill, cargo that has been made heavier on the front or back can damage parts of the truck that are important to transport the trailer. This can cause the tow hitch to break and the trailer to release from the truck.
In either case, it is important for drivers to recognize the potential issues associated with overloaded and improperly loaded trucks. If this situation occurs and the truck is involved in a crash, fault may lie on the driver for not verifying the cargo, as well as the employee responsible for loading the trailer.
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our Austin truck accident attorney makes it a point to protect the rights of our clients who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. These types of cases are often complex, making it difficult to not only prove negligence, but also determine the liable party. With so much on the line, injury victims deserve the right to have a voice in negotiations or trial, and we aim to be that voice.
To discuss your potential case in a free consultation, call our firm anytime, 24/7, for the counsel you need.