Jason Stephens | September 26, 2022 | Truck Accidents
Semi trucks and tractor-trailers are dangerous vehicles. In 2020 alone, there were 413 fatal injury crashes in Texas involving large commercial trucks, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The same source shows that thousands more injury accidents happened that same year.
Pulling loads that are too heavy is one of the many causes of truck accidents. The Truck Safety Coalition reported in 2007 that approximately 30% of all large trucks on the road were overweight. Overloaded commercial trucks can be dangerous and difficult to control.
What Happens When a Truck Is Overloaded in Fort Worth?
There are several reasons a truck may become overloaded or overweight. In some cases, the person responsible for loading the trailer was not paying attention while doing their job. The trailer may have become overloaded without the driver or their employer knowing about it.
Other times, overloading may occur as a cost- or time-saving measure. A company may decide to take on the risks associated with overloading a truck to get products delivered on time.
Regardless of why it happens, trucks that are overloaded become more dangerous for the following reasons:
The Truck May Take Longer to Slow Down and Stop
Basic physics says that the heavier an object, the more force that is necessary to bring it to a stop. If a truck is overloaded, it will take more braking and a longer distance for that truck to come to a complete stop. If the truck driver is not anticipating this, they may leave too little space to stop safely in an emergency.
The Truck May Tip Over More Easily
In order to reduce the chance of tipping, a truck’s load should be evenly distributed between the right and left sides. A trailer that is overloaded, however, may also be unbalanced between the right and left sides.
Similarly, the load’s center of gravity should be kept as close to the ground as possible. If a trailer is overloaded and the center of gravity is too high, the trailer and truck may be more likely to tip over with a strong wind.
A high center of gravity will also make it more challenging for the trailer to navigate turns safely, as the forces involved in turning can cause an overloaded trailer to tip over.
A Tractor-Trailer Can Cause Even More Damage in a Crash
An overloaded truck can inflict even more serious harm to others in the event of a truck crash. Speed and mass are two critical factors that can affect the damage caused in a crash. One of the reasons fatalities are common in commercial truck crashes is because of the larger weight of the trucks.
During a crash, the energy of the striking vehicle is transferred to the vehicle that is struck. The larger the mass and higher the weight of the striking vehicle, the more energy that is transferred in the crash.
Too much cargo in a truck will increase the mass and weight of the tractor-trailer, thus giving the truck more energy to transfer in the event of a crash. This can make the truck an even deadlier instrument in the event of a collision.
Overloading a Texas Commercial Truck Is a Dangerous Choice
Whatever short-term gains a company or driver hopes to achieve by overloading a commercial truck can be a recipe for disaster. Not only do overloaded trucks present a greater risk of serious injury, but they can also be more difficult to control and thus more prone to crashing.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an overloaded truck, a personal injury attorney can help you hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to go over your case as well.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107