The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is on the lookout for commercial truck drivers who attempt to avoid checking in at highway weigh stations. There have been more than 8 million trucks which have been processed through the state’s weigh stations since the beginning of the year, but troopers say that there are truck drivers on the road who try to avoid the check in because they are driving unsafe trucks.
North Carolina law requires trucks to stop at every weigh station it comes upon. One of the goals of the weigh station stops is to ensure that the trucks are not transporting dangerous, overweight loads. The maximum load limit allowed is 80,000 pounds. Last year there were 4,000 accidents involving overweight trucks in North Carolina. Tragically, 62 people were killed in those accidents, with hundreds more seriously injured.
Extra weight on a truck can hamper mechanical ability, causing steering failures, tire blowouts and rollovers. The weight can also affect the distance it takes for the truck to stop when the driver hits the brakes, especially trucks travelling downhill. The extra weight can cause too great a momentum for the driver to be able to stop the truck in order to avoid a crash.
Overweight loads can make maintaining control of the truck extremely difficult for the truck driver, especially in heavy traffic situations, as a recent accident that occurred on a New Jersey highway demonstrates, when the truck driver lost control and flipped over onto a car, causing both vehicles to burst into flames. Two passengers who were in the car were trapped and killed in the tragic incident.
Overweight trucks also cause damage to the state’s roads, such as cracking and buckling, as well as damages to bridges. This damage can also lead to potential dangers for other drivers on the roads. When trucks check in at weigh stations, troopers also inspect the vehicles for any other dangerous safety issues such as non-working lights or balding tires.
Truckers who avoid weight station check-ins are putting the lives of everyone on the road at risk and should be penalized for driving these dangerous trucks. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash caused by an unsafe truck, contact a dedicated North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.