Truck accidents are often some of the most devastating that occur on the road, particularly due to their sheer size and weight. A number of factors can lead to these accidents, including fatigued driving, severe weather, an improperly maintained vehicle, and the truck’s cargo. In fact, improper and overloaded trucks can pose a serious danger, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict regulations that trucking companies are expected to follow. Unfortunately, these rules are sometimes broken and accidents happen.
Weight regulations are set by the FMCSA and vary depending on the type of truck. As such, truck drivers and cargo loaders must pay attention to the truck’s identification plate to ensure they have the maximum permissible axle weight and maximum permissible gross vehicle weight. Why is this so critical? If a truck is overloaded, there is a risk of mechanical issues occurring due to the extra weight, which could cause the driver to lose control of the truck and get involved in an accident. Even in cases where the weight of the cargo does not result in a mechanical failure, it could still make it difficult for the brakes to stop the truck.
In addition to mechanical failures and issues with the brakes, excessive weight can also make it difficult for a truck driver to control the vehicle while going down an incline. This could cause the truck to pull forward, colliding with another vehicle on the road.
Properly loading a truck is just as important as ensuring the right amount of weight is being loaded. If there is an uneven distribution of weight, for example, the truck could turn on its side, risking severe or fatal injuries to the driver or others on the road. If the cargo is not properly secured, and accident can still occur, even if it has an acceptable amount of weight that is evenly distributed. The cargo could come loose and topple over, causing the truck to swerve into another lane. It could also impact the distribution of weight if it shifts too much to one side. Even if the cargo falls off the truck without immediately causing harm to anyone, it still creates a road hazard that can eventually cause an accident.
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, leaving victims to face hospitalization, surgery, long-term care, and the possibility of never achieving a full recovery. Not only do they affect the lives of the injured, but their families as well, taking a financial and emotional toll. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, Fieger Law can help. Our Michigan-based legal team is nationally known, respected, and has decades of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims.