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An overloaded 18-wheeler is a safety hazard for motorists

An overloaded big rig is a safety hazard. The problem from a motorist's viewpoint is that the hazard is invisible. You might not have a clue that an accident is about to happen until it is too late.

Unfortunately, overloaded trucks are among the leading causes of truck-related crashes. Loads that are too heavy or not properly balanced can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Improper loading

Drivers who are undergoing training must learn the correlation between loading techniques and safety. For example, improper loading may create a raised center of gravity, which constitutes a rollover risk. If a truck is not loaded correctly there will be an imbalance, which may affect driving performance. The cargo of an overloaded truck may shift, especially during a sudden turn or lane change, possibly causing the truck to roll over. Additionally, loaders do not secure cargo items properly, the items may fall off the truck and into lanes of traffic.

Increasing costs

In addition to the safety issues, an overloaded truck is more expensive to operate and maintain. For one thing, there will be  excessive wear and tear on brakes and other parts due to the heavy and possibly out-of-balance load. Tires will run hotter as well, increasing the risk of a blowout. Any kind of equipment failure on a massive truck could result in a catastrophic crash.

Liability issues

An overloaded truck is a risk management problem that can increase unwanted exposure for the trucking company: If the driver causes an accident, the company will likely be liable. If the crash results in injuries to a motorist, the injured party's attorney will mount an extensive investigation to determine whether the cause is due to negligence, and not just on the part of the driver. Negligence can even trace back to a company's hiring or training practices. The bottom line is that an overloaded truck is a safety hazard and a potential liability for the company that owns it.

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  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association 1871 Lex Ordo Justicia
  • United States District Court Western District Of Kentucky
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