According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck accidents are on the rise. In 2015, there were 4,067 fatalities in crashes that involved large trucks, such as 18-wheelers or tractor trailers. This is a 4.1 percent increase over 2014 numbers, the highest since 2008. Of these fatal crashes that 73.5 percent of the fatalities involved occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash.
One of the major causes of these types of truck accidents involve overloaded or overweight trucks. What does this mean? According to Texas law, an 18-wheeler can only carry a certain amount depending on the number of axles. So for example, if the truck has a tridem, or three axles, then it can carry only up to 60,000 pounds. So the most a commercial truck carry in the state is up to 81,400 pounds.
But sometimes truck companies ignore the weight restrictions and try to weight down the truck as much as possible. But this is extremely dangerous, especially to everyone on the road. More and more truck accidents that are caused by overloading.
How does an overweight truck cause an accident? When an 18-wheeler is overloaded or exceeds the weight limits, the truck’s performance suffers. For example, when an overloaded tractor trailer attempts to go down a hill, the speed may be much faster than the driver was intended. It may need additional braking, which can cause the tractor trailer to jackknife.
When loading the truck, the amount needs me properly distributed so that the truck’s axles are not overloaded. If this happens, then the truck will be off balance and can lead to a rollover accident. In addition, the cargo may not be secure, which can lead to items falling off and can cause an accident.
If you were involved in an overloaded accident with an 18-wheeler, we can help. Contact the Houston truck accident lawyers at de Lachica Law Firm, PLLC, today for a free consultation.