Brian White | June 13, 2022 | Truck Accidents
We’ve all felt a sense of apprehension at the sight of an overloaded semi barreling down the highway. Instinct sends a natural warning to give a heavily-loaded truck a safe distance. This reaction exists for a good reason: an overloaded truck poses a life-threatening danger.
Overloaded trucks can be deadly, and strict regulations exist that are intended to protect other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, these rules aren’t always followed by truckers or the trucking companies they work for.
If you want to keep your family safe on the highway, here’s what you should know about why overloaded trucks are so dangerous — and what to do when an overloaded truck causes an accident and injury.
Truck Loads Are Heavily Regulated
The average semi-truck can weigh up to 25,000 pounds — and that’s without carrying a load of cargo. Compare that to the standard passenger car, which only weighs around 4,100 pounds. Even without a heavy load, the size and weight of a semi-truck can lead to deadly outcomes when a high-speed accident involves a much smaller vehicle.
In an effort to reduce accidents and keep everyone safe, laws exist that regulate how much weight a load-bearing truck can carry. Specific regulations can vary by state, county, and trucking company, but certain requirements regulate most truck drivers under a CDL license.
Since large trucks come in different sizes, many states regulate legal truck weight by the number of axles. For example, a single-axle truck has a legal weight limit of 25,000 pounds in Texas. On the other end of the scale, a five-axle truck has a weight limit of 81,400 pounds.
Heavy as that is, trucks in Texas can carry even heavier loads. Texas gives specific calculations for determining a safe weight for trucks with six or more axles, and the state also issues permits for overweight loads.
Why Are Overloaded Trucks Dangerous?
Many states require additional safeguards, like weigh stations ensuring that a truck isn’t carrying a load heavier than the law permits. However, despite the many rules intended to keep other drivers safe, many truckers still slip past regulations. The result is that dangerously heavy truck loads are always a potential danger.
Some of the chief reasons overloaded trucks pose a serious threat to other drivers include:
- Axles can’t bear the load
- Overloaded cargo isn’t safely secured
- Overloads can cause tire issues
- Weight increases the risk of rollover accidents
- Overloads lead to jackknife accidents
- It’s more difficult to control the speed
- Decreased control in poor weather
Whether it’s a broken axle, a blown tire, or a careening semi too heavy for the driver to get under control — overloaded trucks are a serious danger, and the outcomes of an accident involving one can lead to severe injury or death.
How Can a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Help After a Collision Caused by an Overloaded Semi?
Trucking companies are for-profit businesses. Factors like corporate greed, oversight, or poor employee training can lead to overloaded trucks speeding down the highway. When the result is an accident, a lawyer can help a car accident victim recover compensation.
Even if a trucker or trucking company faces charges or fines for a trucking accident, that doesn’t do much to help the victim. Gaining compensation for injuries and other damages caused by a trucking accident requires going to civil court.
A truck accident lawyer is vital in ensuring that justice is served for those most impacted by a truck accident. A lawyer will collect the evidence needed to build a case in your defense and will serve as your representative in dealing with insurance companies.
With the right representation, it’s possible to gain compensation after an accident involving an overloaded truck.
Contact the Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
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2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054