There is a weight limit imposed on large tractor trailers of 40 tons, or 80,000 pounds.
Anything over that and the truck becomes more difficult to handle and could cause more serious injury in an accident. Major highways are set up with weight checking stations to ensure that trucks are within their weight limit. Unfortunately being overweight does not usually suspend the truck from the road, the driver is either issued a ticket or forced to wait for a special permit, allowing the dangerous vehicle back onto the highway. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident or have been injured yourself, ask a truck accident attorney to look over your case. Records of the trucks weight at the time of the accident should be available and could prove that not complying with the law was the reason for the grave injuries you sustained.
Trucks Exceeding the Weight Limit
There are a score of reasons why an overweight truck poses a higher risk to other motorists. For one, traveling uphill will be a slow and long process putting them at risk being rear-ended on blind curves. Adversely, going downhill they will be traveling too fast. That puts extra stress on the brake system and could cause it to fail entirely. The more weight a truck is carrying the longer it will take to stop. If the bulk of the weight is at the rear of the truck steering will become difficult, not to mention the extra pressure can cause the back tires to burst. The center of gravity is also raised when a truck is overloaded, making it more susceptible to rolling over.
A Missouri family was seriously injured when an over loaded truck collided with their passenger vehicle on a small state highway. On top of the excess weight, the truck driver was also speeding. The force of the collision caused serious injuries to all of the cars’ occupants. The driver and the trucking company were forced to pay out the insurance policy limit of $450,000 to the family for compensation of their injuries and damage to their car.
A Truck Drivers Responsibility
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the driver to inspect the vehicle and make sure that not only is the truck not overloaded, but that the cargo is evenly distributed and secured. Other parties may also be liable in these types of cases such as the trucking company and the company that is loading the cargo. Government officials may also be at fault for allowing an overweight truck to leave a weigh station.
The weight of traffic is a contributing factor to wear and tear on our highways and bridges. Trucks that choose to carry extra weight put even more strain on the infrastructure. Many experts agree that the 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis was due partially to the weakening of concrete and steel, caused by an excessive number of trucks being allowed to travel over the weight limit.
St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyers
Trucking companies and their drivers who choose to be careless in their cargo practices should be held accountable for the outcome. If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, and believe that the excessive force was caused by the truck carrying too much weight, contact a St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann.
Call us today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation.
photo credit: altheengineer