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Heavy Wide Loads Cause Accidents

Everyone has driven down the roadway and passed an 18-wheeler hauling a heavy or “wide-load.”  Sometimes these trucks are escorted by smaller escort vehicles and sometimes they are not.  Typically, these 18-wheelers have a lot of flags, flashers, and other warning signs.  Due to the danger or wide or heavy loads, regulations require these extra warnings.  However, in spite of these warnings, these trucks sometimes cause accidents.  Overloading and improperly-secured loads are two of the leading causes of truck accidents. Our San Antonio trucking accident lawyers are skilled in cases involving improperly secured or overloaded big-rigs.

When accidents occur involving heavy, wide, or improperly secured loads, it is important to fully investigate the cause of the accident, the dynamics of the accident, and whether the truck driver and trucking company were in compliance with state and federal laws.  An overloaded or improperly-secured truck may be in violation of both state and federal laws if it fails to follow all the rules put in place to protect other motorists from these imposing vehicles.  Unfortunately, the fines imposed on such violators are often simple nuisances that fail to deter future violations. Examples of violations for overweight and improperly-secured loads include:

  • Loads exceeding state or federal weight restrictions;
  • Loads exceeding width restrictions;
  • Loads exceeding height restrictions;
  • Axle overloading;
  • Improper tie-downs; and
  • Failing to attach warning devices (flags) to over-sized loads.

Tractor Trailers (18-wheelers) are limited, in most instances, to a total weight of 80,000 pounds for the truck and its freight. Dump trucks should not exceed 64,00-70,000 pounds, depending on the size of the vehicle’s wheels.  Unfortunately, as many as 30% of the commercial trucks on our roads are overloaded or overweight.  This translates to an increase in more trucking accidents because overloaded trucks require much more time to come to a complete stop are more likely to roll over.

Overloading and improperly-secured loads can affect the driver’s ability to properly control a truck by increasing the stopping distance, increasing in the risk of rollover and decreasing the driver’s ability to perform emergency maneuvers. For these reasons, sometimes trucking accidents are caused by wide, heavy, or improperly secured loads.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to an improperly secured load or overloaded tractor-trailer, call the Hill Law Firm today.