Semi-truck accidents are not uncommon but there are many ways to prevent them. As dangerous as a semi-truck or big rig can be, they become more of a hazard when they are overweight and overloaded. These trucks pose more of a threat to motorists because with more weight, stopping becomes more difficult. Overweight trucks are more likely to lose control if they have to make any sudden moves such as swerving to avoid a truck accident.
Besides the danger they pose to motorists, overloaded trucks can be a threat to the structure of the vehicles themselves. Overweight trucks can damage the brake and steering system of the truck. If the braking system isn’t able to function properly, the trucks once again become a danger to those on the road with them.
There are trucking laws that determine how much weight a certain commercial truck can carry, how heavy the load can be, what the combined weight of the load and the truck can be, how much weight can be on each axle, and how much weight can be on the tires. The amount of weight is not the only factor to be considered. Weight distribution has a lot to do with how well the truck handles in any number of circumstances.
We’ve all seen the weigh stations along the highways in the United States and probably never really thought too much as to what they were meant for. These stations serve as checkpoints where trucks are supposed to stop, get weighed and get inspected to make sure they are safe for the roads.
What could possibly go wrong with an overloaded truck? First, tires can burst when there is too much weight. When traveling downhill, overloaded trucks may lose control if they get up to a rate of speed that is too fast, especially because the added weight means more momentum, which means too much stress on the system.
Overweight trucks need a greater distance to allow them to stop properly and safely. If a semi-truck is carrying too much weight, it can cause an unsafe shift in the load, which can cause the driver to lose control of steering capabilities. Because of the weight of a big rig, an overloaded truck is more likely to roll over due to a raised center of gravity. Highway bridges have a weight capacity. If an overloaded truck tries to cross, they can cause a bridge or overpass to collapse.
It is important for truck drivers to know what the weight of their load is, even if they don’t know what the load is. Knowledge is everything and making sure a truck is properly loaded is the responsibility of the truck driver and those who load the truck. While it may seem economical to overload a truck to save a trip, it may lead to a serious injury or fatal accident. These trucking accidents can endanger the lives of the truck drivers and innocent motorists as well.
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