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18 Wheeler Accidents / February 25, 2022

How Can You Tell If a Truck Is Overloaded?

Mississippi trucking companies and the drivers they employ are subject to restrictions governing the maximum weight they can carry and how they must secure their cargo. When overloaded trucks are on the road, they put everyone at risk. But how can you tell if a truck is overloaded? Here, we’ll discuss the signs and what happens when a vehicle is overloaded.

Signs a Truck Is Overloaded

Not everyone is an expert on truck cargo, so how are you supposed to tell when a truck is overloaded? To know when a truck driver is dealing with more than they can safely handle, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • The cargo is wider than the trailer or taller than the truck – If you can see pieces of cargo bulging off the sides or back of the trailer or on top of the truck, it’s likely carrying more cargo than it’s designed to hold.
  • The driver is having difficulty steering straight – When trucks are overloaded, the excess weight can interfere with traction and control. Drivers of overloaded trucks often appear to have trouble driving in a straight line or recovering control after avoiding road obstacles.
  • The driver is having difficulty slowing down – Heavier trucks take longer to slow down. If you notice the truck driver is braking but taking a long time to slow down, they may have an overloaded truck.
  • The suspension is straining to keep up – When a truck operates within its normal weight limits, suspension springs compress and expand to absorb impacts from bumps in the road. If a truck is overloaded, you may notice that the truck doesn’t seem to bounce back as much after hitting bumps or potholes.

What Are the Dangers of an Overloaded Truck?

When supply haulers ignore federal cargo weight limits or residential movers have overloaded moving trucks, they increase their risk for the following:

  • Rollover accidents – A rollover accident occurs when a truck tilts too far in one direction and rolls over onto its side or roof. Overloaded trucks are prone to swaying and harder to control, making rollover accidents especially likely.
  • Jackknifing – A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer end of a tractor-trailer folds in toward the cab, much like a closing pocketknife or jackknife. When a truck is overloaded, the resulting loss of traction and control significantly increases the chances of jackknifing.
  • Brake or tire failure – When trucks are overloaded, their tires and brake systems are subjected to additional strain. This can accelerate wear and tear, raising the risk of brake or tire failure while the overloaded truck is in transit.
  • Inclement weather accidents – Drivers of overloaded trucks often face substantial losses in traction control, which can get even worse in inclement weather. When roads are wet, icy, or otherwise slick, drivers of overloaded trucks are particularly likely to lose control or even spin out.

Injured in an Accident with an Overloaded Truck? Call Derek L. Hall, PC Today

If you have been injured in an overloaded truck accident, the Mississippi personal injury attorneys of Derek L. Hall, PC can help you seek fair compensation and get back on your feet. Contact our overloaded truck accident lawyers today to learn more about your legal options in a free, initial consultation.

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