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Truck Accidents: How Weight Violations, Overloaded Cargo Raise Risks

Truck Accidents: How Weight Violations, Overloaded Cargo Raise Risks

The trucking Industry is rife with regulatory oversight, and for good reason. Commercial tractor-trailers and other big commercial trucks are some of the largest motor vehicles on our roads. Their presence alone poses innumerable risks to motorists and pedestrians nearby; risks trucking companies, their employees, and third-party companies with whom they work have obligations to reasonably manage.

Unfortunately, statistics make it abundantly clear trucking companies don’t always uphold their duty of care. They may take short cuts, engage in unsafe practices, or commit regulatory violations that endanger the safety and lives of those around them.

For occupants in standard passenger vehicles, unshielded motorcyclists, or vulnerable pedestrians – these safety lapses can have life-altering consequences Moreover, they’re often preventable if not for negligence or wrongful acts committed by those who value profits more than people.

Few trucking violations illustrate this as well as vehicle weight violations and overloaded trucks.

The Dangers of a Cargo Violations & Overloaded Tractor-Trailers

Commercial trucks are subject to a patchwork of regulations; from local traffic code and state laws to federal regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or other government agencies with authority over specific types of cargo and business industries.

These span from driving within the speed limit to truck driver cellphone usage. Many also focus on the loading and securement of cargo carried by trucks, as commercial big rigs pose risks not only because of their size, but also because of what and how much they carry.

Risks of Improper Cargo Securement

  • Cargo shifting, compromised stability
  • Balance issues and misalignment
  • Lane departures, unsafe turns, vehicle sway
  • Rollovers and Jackknifing
  • Reduced maneuvering and stopping ability
  • Spilled or falling cargo, roadway hazards
  • Blind spots / reduced visibility (i.e. overloaded flatbeds)
  • Injuries to drivers, shippers / distributors upon unloading

Weight Violations / Overloaded Truck Risks

  • Degraded infrastructure and roadways
  • Excessive vehicle stress, necessitating regular inspections / maintenance
  • Reduced maneurvability and stability
  • Slowed responsivity, reduced ability to avoid emergency situations
  • Slowed stopping distance, reduced ability to avoid rear-end collisions
  • Greater force of collision impact
  • Brake failure and  truck tire blowouts
  • Runaway trucks / vehicle stalls
  • Serious injuries or wrongful death

Other Issues That Compound Cargo-Related Risks

  • Fatigued, impaired, or distracted drivers
  • Negligent hiring or retention of unsafe, unhealthy truckers
  • Negligent third parties (distributors, cargo loaders, product manufacturers, etc.)
  • Hazardous materials, toxic exposure, land / water contamination
  • Multi-vehicle accidents / pile ups (chain reactions)
  • Poor weather (i.e. improperly loaded cargo susceptible to wind)
  • Poor vehicle maintenance and inspections
  • Defective or fault vehicle components
  • “Soft” brakes / worn brake pads
  • Old or retreaded tires / improper tire pressure

Legal Representation for Trucking Accident Victims

Truck accidents can be challenging and time-intensive matters to investigate, and are often highly contested during negotiation and litigation.

With so many regulations, possible causes, potentially liable parties, and variables for insurance coverage or dispute, these high-stakes claims demand support from knowledgeable trucking attorneys. They also require resources, investigation and expert insight, and a relentless commitment to help clients fight back against corporations and insurance companies that want to shield themselves from liability and protect their bottom line at all costs.

Domina Law Group has these qualities, and has proven our ability to handle some of the most complex civil claims on behalf of the injured and the wronged. If you have questions about a potential tractor-trailer wreck anywhere in Nebraska or the neighboring mid-west states, we’re here to help.

Call (888) 387-4134 or contact us online for a free consultation

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