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Overloaded Trucks

Overloaded commercial trucks are one of the major causes of highway accidents on US highways. Truck drivers operating on U.S. roadways face many hazards and dangers. Long distance commercial truck drivers are at increased risk of road accidents due to lengthy driving periods, stress from tight schedules, driver fatigue, bad weather, and poor road conditions. All these hazards become even more dangerous and deadly at night not only to truck drivers, but also to othe vehicles that share the roadways with them. Overloaded trailers only compound already potential perilous problems and can make driving, controlling, and slowing / breaking a truck even more difficult.

Overloaded trucks pose many hazards to motorists and pedestrians on the road.  Some major problems that can occur due to overloaded, shifting loads, or improperly loaded trucks include:

  • Flying debris
  • Difficulty stopping
  • Difficulty controlling the truck on various road surfaces
  • Jackknifing/overturning
  • Making turns

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), weight plays a very important role in the control, maneuverability, and potential breaking power of a tractor-trailer. The Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study or the TS&W study was conducted to assess the effect of size and weight on the ability of a truck driver not only to stay in control of a commercial truck carrying different weight loads, but also the influence of cargo loads on the maneuverability of the truck under numerous conditions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) to examine the reasons for serious crashes involving large commercial trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds. The study looked at 963 crashes involving 1,123 large commercial trucks and 959 other motor vehicles such as passenger cars, motorcyclists etc. Each of the 963 LTCCS study cases was assigned a sampling weight, which allows for national estimates of total fatal and injury truck crashes during the study period. The trucking accidents resulted in 249 fatalities and 1,654 injuries.  Of the 1,123 large trucks in the study, 77 percent were tractors pulling a single semi-trailer, while 5 percent were commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials. Of the 963 crashes in the sample, 73 percent involved a large commercial semi, big rig or flatbed truck colliding with at least one other vehicle. According to the NHTSA study invovling 141,000 large trucks, it was estimated there were approximately 120,000 fatal and injury crashes nationwide that involved at least one large truck. You definitely would not have wanted to be the driver or a passenger in the "other" vehicle.

Have you or someone you know been involved in an accident with an overloaded truck? It is important to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as the accident as possible. Either fill out the Request More Information on this page, or call our toll free number: 800 - 773 - 6770 to discuss your options with a Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. truck accident lawyer.

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The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you need help with a Truck Accident claim, consult an experienced trucking accident attorney from the law offices of Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. by calling TOLL FREE: 800 - 773 - 6770 OR by filling out the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.
Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
1811 Bering Drive, Suite 300     Houston, TX 77057     Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770     Fax: 713-668-1980