According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large trucks were involved in 4,311 fatal accidents in 2015. Statistics from the FMCSA show that the heavier the truck, the more likely an accident will occur.
Improper loading of trucks is one of the most common causes of preventable truck wrecks. Overloading or otherwise improperly loading a truck can cause an accident in a number of ways.
• Overloaded trucks put enormous pressure on tires, causing tire damage and blowouts. A truck’s wheels and tires are only made to withstand so much. Tire blowouts are particularly dangerous, because they can cause a truck driver to immediately lose control.
• Weight imbalances can cause trucks to rollover. A study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine found that when cargo loads are too heavy, insecurely fastened, or mounted too high in the truck, it can cause trucks to rollover when going on ramps, curves, or even just changing lanes.
• Overweight trucks have trouble stopping when going downhill or getting speed going uphill. The heavier the truck, the slower it is to brake and accelerate. Many traffic accidents occur because a truck is simply going too fast or too slow and as a result, the driver can’t slow down or speed up in time because the truck is too heavy.
• Overloaded trucks can be too heavy for bridges and overpasses. In May of this year, a bridge collapsed in Iowa when a truck more than five times the legal weight limit attempted to cross it.
Laws Regulating Tractor Trailer Loads
There are federal and state laws regulating how tractor trailers are to be loaded, and prescribe maximum weights that trucks are allowed to have. Under these laws, absent a special oversize permit, Georgia tractor trailers cannot be wider than 8’6”, taller than 13’6”, and longer than 100 feet, and they cannot carry loads of more than 80,000 lbs. in gross weight. Georgia tort law also imposes a duty on every truck driver to operate their truck with reasonable care, which includes a duty to properly and safely load the truck they are driving.
Despite the fact that Georgia has implemented many weigh station inspection points on the state’s highways, overloaded or improperly loaded tractor trailers continue to be out on the road. When accidents occur as a result, it is crucial to hold negligent parties accountable and compensate their victims.
Victims of Accidents Involving Improperly Loaded Trucks Deserve Compensation
When accidents occur due to a truck being improperly loaded, victims deserve compensation for their harm. Victims can sue truck drivers that overload or improperly load their trucks, and trucking companies that encourage or knowingly allow their drivers to do so.
Trucking companies can also be sued under a theory of respondeat superior when their employees negligently cause an accident. Victims are entitled to be fully compensated for their harm, including for medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A tractor trailer accident injury attorney helps victims get the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, it is imperative to understand your legal rights. Anyone harmed due to the negligent actions of someone else deserves to be compensated. The Kennesaw, GA tractor trailer accident injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help investigate the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, at (404) 389-1035 to schedule a free consultation today.