Most people are aware that driving while intoxicated or fatigued are major causes of truck accidents, but did you know that overloading trailers is another cause of preventable accidents?
Why Do Truckers Overload Their Trailers?
By law, trucks are not allowed to exceed 80,000 pounds. Unfortunately, there are some truck companies who ignore this rule for their own gain. It is more profitable to maximize the trailer’s capacity and move more product using the same amount of fuel and man-hours. During a nationwide truck driver shortage, breaking this rule can save a lot of money – but at the expense of the safety of others. When accidents happen, drivers and/or their employers can be held liable if it can be proven that they violated trailer weight rules.
The Dangers of Overloaded Trailers
Driving next to a truck on the highway can be intimidating – and for good reason. Long, wide, and heavy, these massive vehicles have the potential to cause catastrophic damage if the truck driver makes one wrong move. Because trucks are so huge, it is difficult for a truck driver to quickly correct their course and nearly impossible to brake quickly. Furthermore, commercial trucks can be highly unstable in adverse weather conditions. Adding even more weight to an already enormous truck can be a recipe for disaster.
Overloading trailers is dangerous for the following reasons:
- Too much weight can place strain on the truck’s axles and tires, increasing the chance of a break or blowout leading to a dangerous loss of control
- Trucks already need a long stopping distance, but adding more weight increases the distance needed to brake
- Trucks traveling downhill with a trailer that is too heavy risk brake failure, as the brakes may not be strong enough to stop the vehicle as it is pulled forward by gravity
In addition to overloading, another common problem is improper loading of trailers. For example, when cargo is not evenly distributed and secured, it may shift during transit and cause a dangerous weight imbalance that increases the risk of a rollover or jackknife accident.
Injured? Our Brooklyn Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Negligent truck drivers and truck companies should be held accountable for accidents caused by their carelessness. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact a Brooklyn truck accident lawyer at Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices. When you retain our firm, we can investigate your accident to determine whether an overloaded or improperly loaded trailer was to blame. Once we establish liability for the accident, we will fight for every dollar of compensation you are owed for your losses. We have recovered millions of dollars for the injured over the past two decades and are backed by a history of high-value results.
Tell us about your case – call our office at (718) 690-3132 or fill out our online case review form to get started.