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Truck overloading is unsafe and opens a company to liability

While many trucking companies are careful to avoid overloading violations, others are more interested in the profits hauling extra cargo can bring in. However, too many things can go wrong when too much cargo is on board. Overloading a big rig makes travel unsafe and opens a trucking company and other parties to liability.

Looking for clues

If on the highway with an 18-wheeler, you may become concerned when you notice the truck having trouble staying in its lane. Perhaps the driver is eating a sandwich, talking on a cellphone or fighting drowsiness. On the other hand, perhaps the driver is simply having difficulty controlling an overloaded truck.

Handling issues and more

Overloaded cargo is prone to shifting, which can cause a truck to be off balance. This, in turn, creates the potential for a rollover if the driver changes lanes too quickly or makes a sharp turn. Excess weight will require extended braking distances, a circumstance the driver may misjudge. This could result in disaster if the truck travels down an incline toward an intersection and the driver is unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Furthermore, if the trailer doors are open or are not secured properly, cargo items could fall out the truck and into the path on oncoming traffic.

Shortening service life

Repeated overloading increases maintenance costs due to the acceleration of wear and tear on axles and suspension components. Brakes fail sooner than they should, and tires run hotter because of the extra weight, raising the possibility of a blowout.

Determining responsibility

If that 18-wheeler next to you swerves into your car and pushes you off the road, you could face serious injuries. If an investigation confirms truck overloading, multiple parties could face liability; for example, the driver, the trucking company and the person who loaded the big rig. Explore your legal options. You have a right to expect full and fair compensation for the injuries you suffered because of an overloaded truck in the next lane.

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