Law

The Dangers of An Overloaded Truck

Truck drivers have a responsibility to be safe on the roads. Unfortunately, when trucks are overloaded, they can become heavy, hard to control, and dangerous to those around them. Overloading trucks are illegal and are known to cause catastrophic accidents. Truck owners should observe the set weight limit to protect other drivers and avoid damaging infrastructure. 

4 Terms Truck Owners Should Know

Here are some important terms when it comes to truck weight rating:

  • Payload capacity is the total weight you can load into your truck. It includes both passengers and luggage. Going beyond the payload capacity could damage your vehicle’s suspension. 
  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is your truck’s maximum weight without damaging road infrastructure. The curb weight includes all car fluids like radiator fluid and oil without the passengers. 
  • The payload metric helps truck owners know their vehicle’s weight limits and prevents them from overloading, which could lead to avoidable repair and servicing costs.
  • Cargo arrangement is highly essential. Unbalanced weight distribution could lead to a part breakdown, compromising your safety. A pro tip is always to ensure that the heaviest items are at the lowest point of your tuck’s bed and should be evenly spread out. You should always ensure your cargo does not exceed the bed rail capacity. Also, always secure your loads with ratchet straps or a tarp. 

Risks Associated With Overloading Trucks

Risks associated with overloading trucks include:

 

High Rollover Risk 

Adding extra luggage to a truck raises its center of gravity. Trucks already have a high center of gravity, and raising it further with extra cargo might be hazardous. The truck may become unstable and roll over when negotiating sharp bends. Rollover accidents involving trucks can be catastrophic, especially when other motorists run into the fallen cargo. It could also lead to explosions if the truck were ferrying flammable products. 

 

Braking Difficulty

Trucks, due to their large size, need long braking distances. An overloaded truck may damage the braking system due to the extra force required to bring the vehicle to a stop. 

 

Control Difficulty 

Truck drivers undergo specialized training before getting behind the wheel. Even when unloaded, trucks are difficult to control. Therefore, if the weight limit is exceeded, it may be challenging to control a truck, especially since it tends to accelerate downhill. 

 

Tire Blowouts 

Overloaded trucks exert more pressure on tires due to the extra weight. Since tires are designed to support a certain amount of weight, exceeding it may lead to faster wear and tear or tire blowouts. A truck tire blowout could have fatal consequences as an uncontrollable truck could easily collide with oncoming traffic. 

Liability for Accidents Involving Tucks 

Various parties manage cargo-ferrying trucks. It may be challenging to know who is legally responsible for the accident. Depending on the circumstances, here are some of the parties liable for truck accidents:

  • The owner of the cargo
  • The truck driver 
  • The truck owner
  • The loading company
  • The distribution company 

Conclusion 

Overloading trucks can cause accidents and damage road infrastructure. Therefore, drivers and other parties directly involved in the trucking industry should be aware of and stick to the weight limits. If you are injured in an overloaded truck accident, hire a lawyer to help you receive compensation for any financial losses. Such professionals have experience dealing with similar cases and can help you receive maximum compensation for damages.