The size and weight of loaded semi-trucks rumbling along New Jersey roadways make it imperative that they comply with trucking industry regulations. If you or a loved one sustained injuries because a big truck violated safety regulations and an accident occurred, you might have grounds for a claim. We often represent clients with catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of a trucking company.
According to Fleet Management Weekly, overloaded vehicles not only cause maintenance concerns but can also reduce drivability and cause reliability issues.
Defining an overloaded vehicle
A commercial truck’s gross vehicle weight rating includes the body, auxiliary equipment, chassis, and payload. The gross axle weight rating is the maximum load allowed for the trailer and truck combination. An overloaded vehicle exceeds the GVWR and GAWR, potentially making it unsafe.
Capping truck weights improves the safety of big trucks when loaded. However, it also limits the amount of money the trucking company makes. As a result, drivers and companies often violate federal regulations and knowingly overload the trucks.
How overloaded trucks cause accidents
Trucks loaded with more cargo than what the rating system allows risks the driver and the occupants of the vehicles sharing the road with them. Even if the accident is not caused by the truck, it can still escalate the severity of injuries. Some of the most common ways an overloaded vehicle causes an accident includes the following:
- Shifting cargo decreases the driver’s control of the truck.
- The braking system cannot handle the extra weight of the truck and fails.
- Too much weight on the cargo bed or in the trailer can cause the vehicle to overturn or jackknife.
A settlement from your accident with a big truck can recover damages for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages as well as other economic and non-economic factors.