Truck accidents are a serious concern on roadways, often resulting in devastating consequences.
Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks serve as one major factor contributing to these accidents.
1. Reduced stability and handling
Improper load distribution significantly affects a truck’s stability and handling capabilities. Excessive weight can cause the truck to become top-heavy, increasing the risk of rollovers, especially when navigating sharp turns or uneven terrain. A top-heavy truck is more prone to losing control, endangering not only the truck driver but also other road users.
2. Extended stopping distances
An overloaded truck requires more distance to come to a complete stop compared to a properly loaded one. The added weight increases the strain on the brakes and reduces their effectiveness. In emergency situations, a truck driver may struggle to bring the vehicle to a halt in time, leading to rear-end collisions or collisions at intersections.
3. Tire failures
Another danger of overloading or improper loading is the excessive stress placed on the truck’s tires. When the weight exceeds the recommended limits, tires can overheat, leading to blowouts. A tire blowout can result in the truck driver losing control of the vehicle, potentially causing a multi-vehicle accident as debris scatters on the road.
4. Reduced visibility
Improperly loaded cargo can obstruct the truck driver’s visibility. Cargo that extends beyond the designated load area or is not adequately secured may block the driver’s view of surrounding traffic. This limited visibility can lead to lane-change accidents, sideswipes or even collisions when merging onto highways.
In 2021, 117,300 injury crashes involved large trucks. For anyone involved in this type of accident, it may mean long-term consequences.