Have You Been in a Crash With an Overweight Truck?
Semi-trucks are governed by numerous local, state, and federal laws that cover factors including how long an operator can drive without stopping, the size and weight of trucks, the weight distribution of trucks, the weight on each axle and each tire of a truck, and the speed at which trucks can travel. These regulations exist to decrease the threat to safety posed by semi trucks while still allowing trucking to be a commercially viable means of transportation for a large number of goods.
When truck drivers are alert, have proper training, and follow the law, the chances of a semi-truck accident are small. The chances drastically increase if a trucker ignores or disregards regulations. But it is not only the truck driver and cargo load at risk when ignoring procedures. Instead, all motorists on the road are at risk of being in a truck crash, decreasing each driver’s safety while on the road.
One of the reasons semi trucks are more dangerous than other vehicles is because they are much larger and heavier than other vehicles. When a semi collides with a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle almost always experiences greater damage. Further, the passenger car’s occupants are at a much higher risk for injury or death as a result.
What Dangers are Presented by Overweight Trucks?
Here are several risks due to overweight trucks:
A longer distance is needed to stop
Loading too much weight poses a serious threat to safety because an overweight truck is difficult to handle. It requires a greater length of road to stop than a properly loaded truck. Also, an overweight truck is more difficult to turn. The threats posed by an overweight/overloaded truck are exacerbated when the truck’s operator is a novice or inexperienced in semi maneuverability. Unfortunately, this increases the odds that the truck will get in an incident with another vehicle.
Tire Blowouts Are More Likely
Extra weight loaded in a semi truck’s trailer also increases the chances of a tire blowing out while the truck is in use. Tire blowouts can lead to a loss of steering control. This can cause a truck to veer into other lanes of traffic, potentially causing a collision. The remains of the blown tire can also fly into the path of travel of another vehicle or strike a car, leading to a crash.
There is a greater risk of a rollover accident
An overloaded truck also poses a greater threat of rolling over than a truck that is properly stocked. This is because excess weight raises the truck’s center of gravity, leading to a truck that can tip over, especially when turning. A rolling truck may fall into oncoming lanes of traffic or in an intersection with other cars, motorcycles, or even pedestrians present.
Overweight trucks can damage roads and bridges
Trucks that are overweight put greater stress on a road’s surface due to their excess weight. This leads to wearing and degradation of the road much faster than intended. When a bridge or overpass is present, though, this excess weight can lead to structural damage to the bridge’s support system, including support beams. This can lead to a crumbling or even collapsed bridge. Anyone on the bridge or overpass at the same time as an overweight truck is at risk if a bridge fails. Drivers underneath an overpass could be in danger as well.
Should You Contact a Chicago Overweight Truck Accident Lawyer?
A truck can be loaded and driven by one individual or several companies can be involved in the process. In some cases, one company owns the truck, another operates it, a third loads it, and a fourth maintains and repairs the truck. The facts of the accident will determine who is responsible for the negligent condition of the truck and its cargo. Further, the facts will show who should be legally liable for any damages.
An innocent truck accident victim is not to blame for a collision due to an overloaded truck. Illinois law recognizes this and allows accident victims to make a civil claim for damages against a negligent trucker. These claims are separate from and in addition to any charges or fines given by police for weight violations.
The Chicago overweight truck crash attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. focus on representing accident victims. We try to help accident victims obtain the financial recovery they deserve. The goal is to properly compensate them for all damages they sustain in an accident. We will pursue all avenues of recovery on behalf of a victim. Further, we always offer free consultations to those who contact us at (312) 924-7575. If you have injuries from an accident, know that you may have the right to a financial settlement. Call us today and let us help you understand your legal rights with no obligation on your part.
If you suffer an injury due to an overweight truck, call us at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.