Tractor-trailer trucks are massive, heavy vehicles. Even when commercial trucks are functioning correctly, and drivers are taking the proper care to follow traffic laws and trucking regulations, they can become involved in truck accidents that may cause harm to other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Collisions become even more likely when truck drivers or their employers violate regulations, and one of the most dangerous ways they can do so is by loading a truck beyond its allowed capacity.
Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
In addition to federal regulations, different states have their own regulations regarding the maximum weight that a commercial truck can carry. These limits are typically set to ensure that trucks can travel safely without causing damage to roads or bridges. Since truck drivers often travel across multiple states, they are required to comply with the regulations in each of the areas where they will be operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, some drivers and their employers overload their trucks with the intent of delivering more cargo without the need for additional trips.
Overloading a truck can be very dangerous, and it can cause multiple issues that may make truck accidents more likely to occur, including:
- Additional weight can make a truck more difficult to control, since it will increase the distance needed to slow down and stop.
- An overloaded truck will often be more top-heavy, which may lead to rollover accidents. A truck that turns over may collide with or crush other vehicles, and it may block the road, causing additional injuries and damages in a multi-vehicle pileup.
- Cargo may not be evenly distributed on a truck’s trailer, causing it to become unbalanced. This can affect a driver’s ability to control the truck safely, potentially leading to collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians.
- A heavy load will put stress on a truck’s equipment, including the axles, tires, brakes, and engine. This may cause parts to break or fail, leading a driver to lose control of the truck.
- The equipment used to secure cargo to a truck may not be designed to hold weight beyond a certain capacity. If a truck is overloaded, this equipment may fail, causing cargo to fall from the truck and strike other vehicles.
A truck driver is responsible for ensuring that cargo is properly loaded and secured. If a driver allows their truck to be loaded beyond its legal capacity, both they and their employer may be liable for truck accidents that occur as a result. A company that was responsible for loading cargo on a truck may also be liable for its failure to follow laws and regulations.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, our attorneys can help you gather evidence of a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, including in situations where a truck was overloaded. We will review trucking company records and driver logs to determine who was responsible for the overloading. We will also obtain any other relevant evidence to show who was liable for your injuries, including truck maintenance records, photos or videos of the scene of the accident, testimony from witnesses to the crash, police reports, and 911 call recordings.
Contact Our Green Bay, WI Truck Accident Lawyers
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we can provide you with dedicated legal help following a truck accident, and we will fight to make sure you are fully compensated for all of your injuries and damages. To learn how we can help you hold a negligent truck driver and their employer responsible, contact our Appleton commercial truck accident attorneys at 920-739-7366 to arrange your free consultation.