No motorist wants to get in the way of a tractor-trailer truck. They’re much bigger than anything that most people will ever drive. Consequently, a collision with a tractor-trailer truck can cause a lot of damage. Typically, drivers of tractor-trailer trucks are the safest drivers on the road. A lot of hard work goes into becoming certified to drive a tractor-trailer truck, and the majority of companies make their drivers take drug tests.
However, a trucker can only drive safely when they don’t exceed their vehicle’s weight limit. Sadly, many companies pressure truckers to carry way more than they’re supposed to, and public safety suffers as a result. A serious truck accident can ruin your life, so if you spend a lot of time on the road, then you should check out these five major reasons to be wary of overloaded tractor-trailer trucks.
When a truck carries cargo above its weight limit, its center of gravity increases. Tractor-trailer trucks already have a high center of gravity, so extra weight can make them even less stable. Consequently, an overloaded truck is much more liable to roll onto its side when making turns. Moreover, overloaded trucks are much more susceptible to high wind speeds. If you are caught next to a truck as it rolls over, then there is a good chance that it will crush your vehicle. Even if you’re not directly next to a truck when it rolls over, you may have to deal with unsafe road conditions.
Any vehicle will break down after a certain amount of wear and tear. As a vehicle carries more weight, the likelihood of a mechanical failure increases. Tires, suspension systems, trailer beds, axles, and other vital components of a vehicle are all rated to handle a certain weight. Thus, when a tractor-trailer truck’s load exceeds that weight, there is a much higher risk that one of these components will break in transit.
Most mechanical failures can lead to dangerous situations. For example, an overloaded truck’s tire may suddenly pop on the highway. Consequently, nearby motorists will have to suddenly dodge a huge and heavy piece of a tire while driving over 70 miles per hour. A stray piece of debris can easily break through a windshield, potentially crushing the driver and passengers or causing the driver to get into a collision.
Heavier vehicles typically take a longer time to come to a complete stop. This is true when a truck is empty, and it’s even worse with an overloaded truck. If a truck is overloaded, then the driver may not be able to brake quickly enough to avoid a collision. A typical passenger vehicle will receive heavy damage from even the slightest impact with a tractor-trailer truck. Because of this, many people do not escape collisions with tractor-trailer trucks unscathed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your distance from tractor-trailer trucks on the road. Even if you don’t think that a truck is overloaded, you should still be mindful of how long it takes a truck to come to a complete stop.
Often, companies that expect their truckers to go over the weight limit also don’t care about giving their drivers adequate rest. As a result, many truck drivers are tired from being overworked. Have you ever driven while exhausted? It’s much harder to concentrate on the road when you’re tired, and you might not drive as safely as you should. This is bad enough in a regular vehicle, but an overworked trucker in an overloaded truck is a recipe for disaster.
Many flatbed tractor-trailer trucks carry logs and other loose materials. Usually, truckers can secure such loads so that there’s no risk of anything flying away from the bed of the truck. However, an overloaded flatbed truck is more likely to suddenly lose its cargo. A stray log or piece of equipment can absolutely destroy your vehicle and seriously injure you, so it’s best to stay away from flatbed trucks with huge loads.
You Deserve Justice
Overloaded trucks present a massive threat to public safety. One collision can cost you your life. Even if you’re lucky enough to survive a collision, you will still have medical bills and other major expenses to deal with. An accident can permanently alter your quality of life, lead to severe medical debt, and leave you unable to work.
You shouldn’t have to deal with an injury alone. Your life matters, and you deserve justice. If you’ve been involved in an overloaded truck accident in West Virginia, then you should reach out to DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC to explore your legal options. We may be able to help you move forward.