In an effort to prevent truck accidents caused by overloaded vehicles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations regarding the maximum amount of weight that various trucks are permitted to haul. For example, FMCSA regulations stipulate that large commercial trucks, like semis and tractor trailers, are legally limited to carrying no more than 20,000 pounds of cargo per axle (with the total weight not to exceed 80,000 pounds). In addition to these regulations, individual states have their own specific trucking regulations for certain roads or highways regarding weight limits for trucks.
Despite such regulations, however, trucking companies and/or truck drivers may overload their vehicles in an effort to increase profit at the expense of safety. When this happens, overloaded trucks on the roadways significantly increase the chances that serious, potentially fatal truck accidents will occur, and those injured by such accidents will be entitled to compensation for their injuries, property damage, losses and mental anguish.
Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
While “overloaded trucks” can refer to trucks that are carrying too much weight, it may also refer to trucks that have poorly balanced loads. Some of the specific risks and dangers that overloaded trucks pose to other drivers include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Truck drivers’ impaired ability to steer or control the truck due to most of the weight of the truck being taken off of the front tires
- Trucks being more difficult to stop, particularly when going downhill
- Trucks being more likely to be involved in rollover accidents when improperly balanced loads raise trucks’ center of gravity
- The increased risk of brake failure and/or tire blowouts due to the excessive weight the truck is carrying
- The increased risk of trucks exceeding the weight limit of certain roadways, which could increase the likelihood that bridges or other roads will collapse under such excessive weight.
Because overloaded truck accidents are entirely preventable, those who are responsible for them (e.g., trucking companies, truck drivers, cargo loaders, etc.) can be held legally liable for victims’ injuries, losses and mental anguish in a truck accident lawsuit.
St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyers
The St. Louis truck accident lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses and/or who need help navigating through the complexities of the court system.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been successfully representing our clients in traffic accident cases, workers’ compensation cases, wrongful death cases, defective product and dangerous drug cases and various other areas of personal injury litigation. Our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice in every case we handle means that we will work relentlessly to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes to their cases.
If you were involved in a truck accident caused by an overloaded truck, we encourage you to email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen and/or to call us at (573) 333-3333 for our Missouri office or at (618) 888-8888 for our Illinois office. We offer free consultations.