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What are the dangers of excessively heavy trucks?

| Jul 18, 2019 | Truck/Commercial Vehicle Accidents |

If you have ever passed a weigh station on a California highway, you may have wondered about the purpose of that station. These stations weigh big trucks to ensure that they are the proper weight to fit the applicable operating specifications. A truck that exceeds weight requirements is a major risk on the road and could cause road damage or a devastating auto accident.

An article run by the Industrial Scale Company explains that big cargo trucks, if they weigh too much, pose dangers to other vehicles that drive close by. An overloaded truck loses some ability to maneuver, which inhibits the driver from reacting in time to other vehicles or unexpected events. Overweight trucks also require more distance to come to a halt. And if the truck is driving downhill, the trucker may find it harder to control the truck or halt its momentum.

Overloaded trucks also pose a threat to the structural integrity of the roads upon which they travel. These include interstates, which havea maximum weight that they can handle. While states may impose varying weight requirements, federal law mandates trucks cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Trucks that are too heavy can weaken interstate or highway roads, which over time causes structural damage or collapse.

Bridges and overpasses can be even more vulnerable to heavy trucks. This is true because bridge weight capacities can be less than portions of an interstate or highway that rest on the ground. As a result, an excessively heavy truck can inflict greater and deeper damage on an overpass or bridge. Also, due to the diminished driving control a trucker has over an overloaded truck, there is greater potential for an accident on a bridge.

A trucking company that fails to properly maintain the weight limits on its trucks may be liable for damages if excess weight was a factor in causing the truck to get into an auto accident. Keep in mind that truck accidents happen for many reasons, so do not consider this article as legal advice. It is only meant as general information on this topic.