Truck accidents cause terrible suffering and damage every day. The sheer size and weight of these trucks increase the extent of destruction and loss. Many trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and losing control can be extremely catastrophic. With a vehicle that size, it is much harder to regain control. An uncontrolled truck traveling at highway speeds is a danger to all vehicles on the road with the potential to cross into several lanes at once, roll over on top of nearby cars, or cause a massive multi-car pileup.
When these gigantic vehicles hit the road, the loads they carry add an additional risk. The weight of the shipment alone adds to the impact of a potential collision, but if the load is not properly packed onto the truck and adequately restrained, it may become an active impediment to road safety. Overly heavy or shifting loads can throw the truck off course. Improperly weighted loads can be too much for the brakes or body of the truck to support.
Each commercial truck is assigned a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) by the manufacturer to determine the weight that can be safely carried. The rating is established by calculating the limits of the truck’s structural parts, such as its frame and axel, as well as the limits of its mechanics, including the powertrain capacity and breaking power. The rating should be posted on the truck’s plate. The GVWR should not exceed 80,000 pounds without a special permit.
Commercial truck drivers should be able to count on the materials they are shipping to be carefully loaded with all the safety guidelines in mind. When these guidelines are neglected or deliberately ignored, they can spell danger down the road. Truckers may also be at fault, as they are required to weigh their loads throughout their transportation. Weigh stations are located conveniently for their use along major highways. Sometimes, however, the weight limits are ignored in the interest of time or profit.
Trucks carrying heavy loads are more difficult to control. Breaking can be tough and maintaining a safe speed downhill can present a problem. An overloaded truck is more susceptible to imbalance and roll-over accidents. An overloaded truck may involve items that are not secured properly that could fall onto the road.
When someone is injured in a trucking accident, there are many parties with potential liability. The driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or the shipping company may be to blame. Instinctively all those parties will point fingers at the others.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you need the help of a legal professional who knows the trucking industry. The Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. have experience confronting trucking companies, truck manufacturers, and merchandise shippers to obtain compensation for victims of truck accidents. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 today. With offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we offer representation in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.