Overweight Trucks: A Menace on Our Roads | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In the interests of commerce, sometimes shortcuts occur. Businesses vying to get their products to consumers in an increasingly competitive market mean distributors are overwhelmed to meet deadlines. Often this translates into goods being overloaded into commercial trucks beyond their capacity.

Numerous trucks on our nation’s highways are carrying cargo exceeding legal limits. These same trucks are setting up dangerous situations for other vehicles who share the roads. Unstable and unsteady loads are causing more deadly truck accidents on our highways. Because of the size, weight, additional stopping distances, and clearance a truck requires, those in vehicles should always be mindful to maintain a safe distance.

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Federal Rules

The desire to ramp up profits and bolster bottom lines is leading to the culture of overweight trucks and uneven loads. But so is increased population. More consumers equals an increased flow of commerce on highways throughout North Carolina and other states.




Due to the sheer enormity of tractor-trailers, if their load is overweight and unstable, the smallest road condition makes them difficult to control. Rollovers are a common occurrence. Large trucks also have blind spots. And they often make wide turns which also increase the risk of accidents. Driver fatigue, poor vehicle maintenance, road and weather conditions, together with the manner in which the truck was loaded, can contribute to horrific accidents.

The Federal Highway Administration has stringent regulations regarding truck weight limits. For a single-axle truck, that limit is 20,000 pounds. The weight limit for semi- and tractor-trailers is 80,000 pounds.

Catastrophic Injuries

Commercial truck accidents are very different from accidents that take place between private vehicles. The obvious size of a truck as compared to a passenger vehicle usually means the people in the car are more likely to suffer catastrophic personal injuries.

Injuries and damage when a commercial truck is involved tend to be traumatic, often fatal, and the devastation forever changes the victim and their family’s lives. Broken bones, lacerations, brain injury, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and death are a grim reality on highways throughout the state.

Because the operation of commercial trucks is regulated by federal law, in the event of a truck accident, the ensuing police report should include a report from a certified truck inspector who collects valuable information from the scene. This account and preservation of evidence are crucial for a thorough investigation and a solid claim for damages. Filing a timely claim is also crucial if you are seeking a successful settlement.

Let a Carolinas Accident Attorney Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should first contact a North Carolina personal injury law firm with experience vehicle accident cases.  It is also important to find a firm that understands the intricacies of litigating truck accident cases. Aligning yourself with an experienced firm enables you to have the best chance of success. Contact a seasoned North Carolina truck accident attorney today to discuss what your legal options may be.