If you see a big rig that seems to be having trouble staying in its lane, the driver may be struggling with control due to overloaded cargo.
It is not always easy to detect an overloaded 18-wheeler, but a truck that has heavily weighted or unbalanced cargo is often an accident waiting to happen.
Unstable cargo issues
An overloaded truck is not safe to operate largely because the cargo is prone to shifting, which can cause the driver to lose control. In fact, an overload is frequently the reason for a truck to roll over, possibly causing a catastrophic accident on the highway. When hauling heavy cargo, a driver may also miscalculate how long it will take the big rig to stop because braking distances will increase. This can be especially dangerous on an incline.
Wear and tear
Tires will fail sooner than later because when there is an increased load, tires run hotter. In fact, overloading can cause wear and tear on many truck components including the axles, and it will ultimately impact driving performance, which poses another safety concern.
Trucking companies should train new drivers in the proper way to load cargo. Commercial vehicle operators should also receive instruction about inventory control and the importance of eliminating equipment and any other unnecessary items that take up space, leaving more room to distribute cargo evenly.
A truck that is overloaded is in violation of state and federal laws, but the prospect of greater profits can often cause trucking companies to look the other way. Big rig accident cases can be complex because in assigning negligence, fault could lie with several parties. Those who are found liable for the injuries a crash victim may suffer could include the trucker, the company that owns the 18-wheeler, the employee or company responsible for loading the vehicle incorrectly and even the individual who failed to train a new driver in proper loading techniques.