Trucking companies and suppliers are often motivated to overload trucks as it saves them time and money. However, it is a practice that can also make trucks deadly. The average semi-truck can weigh as much as five times a standard passenger vehicle. In this sense, trucks are already a formidable force on the road, that, when mishandled, can cause catastrophic consequences. There are rules and regulations that trucks must adhere to for this reason. For instance, the maximum legal weight for a semi-truck is 80,000 pounds. Additionally, drivers must be trained on how to properly distribute the cargo. Proper distribution of cargo reduces the risk of toppling and over-turns. When truck drivers and trucking companies do not adhere to these guidelines, they increase the risk of driving not only for themselves, but for everyone on the road. 

Risks of Overloading Trucks 

There are many risks of overloading trucks. For one, trucks are only designed to safely carry a certain amount of weight. When the cargo is heavier than is designed for, it puts undue pressure on the axles and mechanical components of the truck. This makes the truck more difficult to control, and also dramatically increases the risk of malfunction, as the components are now being forced to perform in a way that they are not designed to. Additionally, the heavier a truck is, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop. If the truck is overloaded, the driver has no way of knowing how long it will take to come to a stop, or if coming to a complete stop is even possible. This can result in serious accidents and mishaps on the road. 

Overloading or improperly loading trucks can result in jackknifing, where the trailer swings out to the side and forward, causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and potentially causing injury and damage across multiple lanes of traffic. These risks are all magnified significantly in poor weather conditions, such as icy or slippery roads, as these conditions also decrease the driver’s control over the vehicle. 

Catastrophic Damage 

Trucks carry just about every item and supply you could imagine, so it is no surprise that some trucks are carrying things that could cause catastrophic damage if overturned. Recently, a semi-truck full of 50 million honey bees overturned, releasing a massive swarm of bees downtown. Other times, trucks are carrying hazardous chemicals, which can cause serious injuries, such as chemical burns, disfigurement, neuropathy, and loss of eyesight, just to name a few. 

Schedule a Consultation If a truck is overloaded, it is driving negligently. If you have been injured as a result of a collision with an overloaded truck, we are here to help you. Our lawyers will review the specific facts and circumstances of your case and pursue the best possible path to getting you the compensation that you deserve. A successful lawsuit will provide you with compensation for all past and future medical expenses, lost wages or lost earning potential, and pain and suffering, so that you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life. Contact Eric Ramos Law and schedule your free consultation today. There is no fee until we win.