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Overweight Trucks – A Hazard on Our Roadways

The trucking industry is highly regulated, yet accidents involving commercial trucks are commonplace. One of the duties imposed on trucking companies is to ensure that shipping weight limits are followed. Overloading an 18-wheeler can result in cargo shifting, causing a tractor-trailer to jackknife or roll over. Excessive weight can also increase the likelihood of a truck’s brakes failing or tires blowing out.

The overloading of commercial trucks is a persistent problem because the trucking companies want to make the most money they can as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, overweight semi-trucks can result in:

  • Shifting cargo. If a truck is loaded with extra cargo, it can cause the truck to be imbalanced. If the truck leans and shifts in unexpected ways while driving, a crash can result.
  • Stopping issues. The heavier a truck, the more difficult it is and the more ground it takes to stop it. If you are in the pathway of an overloaded truck, it could collide with your vehicle.
  • Increased momentum. The heavier an object is, the more momentum it creates. The faster a truck is going when it crashes, the more likely catastrophic injuries will be involved.
  • Mechanical defects. The heavier a big rig is, the more work the mechanical parts of the truck must do to operate. Common defects in tires, brakes and engine parts can cause a crash.
  • Loss of cargo. An overweight 18-wheeler may have its load come loose and leave debris on the highway, leaving a dangerous situation for any vehicles traveling behind the truck.

In Pennsylvania, the maximum weight that is allowed per inch of width of on a truck tire is 800 pounds on any one wheel. A lawyer experienced in handling accidents involving a large commercial truck will fully investigate the cause of your wreck, including whether the 18-wheeler was overweight.

If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rudberg Law Offices, LLC to learn how we can help.

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