According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, trucker fatalities across the country rose to their highest level in more than 30 years in late 2018; a total of 885 occupants in large trucks were killed in accidents throughout the country.
Overall, there were more than 4,600 lives lost in truck accidents. Many of these accidents are caused by trucks that carry too much weight for the size of their vehicle. Overweight and overloaded trucks pose a risk to everyone on the road.
How Excess Weight Impacts Truck Performance
Virginia Law mandates the size, weight, and equipment requirements for various types of trucks and trailers. There are many reasons why it is important to limit the amount of weight large trucks can pull. Excess weight can affect how the truck operates in many important ways.
Overweight trucks put wear and tear on crucial connected parts, like bearings and hitches. Overloaded trucks are prone to load shifting and rollover accidents; they can perform unpredictably, especially on steep inclines, declines, and curves. Overweight trucks are more likely to have tire blowouts, and the driver has a risk of losing control of their vehicle. Cargo can become loose in heavy trucks and potentially hit nearby vehicles.
Weight Guidelines and Penalties for Overloading
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has compiled all the size, weight, and equipment restrictions for trucks, trailers, and towed vehicles in a booklet which is available online. https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dmv109.pdf
The guidelines include restrictions on size and weight of trucks that are traveling on interstates and designated highways. Guidelines are based on how much the vehicle weighs based on the size of the truck, what materials they are hauling, how many axles they have, and how far apart these axles are spaced.
Virginia has penalties for overweight trucks. In addition to a certain amount for every pound the truck is over state weight restrictions, there are additional fines for civil penalties and other fees. These charges are a way to deter trucking companies and drivers from carrying more weight than what is safe.
Truck Accident Injuries
The trucking industry is an essential part of our nation’s infrastructure and economy. Dedicated truck drivers transport the goods we need and want across the country in a timely manner. However, when truckers fail to take the necessary precautions to operate their imposing machines according to state and federal guidelines, innocent lives can be largely affected.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Fight for All Injured Truck Accident Victims
If you have been hurt in an accident with any type of truck, you do have legal recourse to hold the negligent truck owner or operator accountable. Our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers are here to guide you through the claim process and will help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we pride ourselves in assisting all victims that are affected by negligent truck drivers. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Virginia Beach, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, throughout North Carolina, and nationwide.