Overweight Trucks

Overweight and Overloaded Truck Accidents

Any accident involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler has the potential to cause serious injuries, but an accident with an overweight or overloaded truck is especially likely to be catastrophic. When a truck is over its weight limit, there is a greater risk of tire failure or a rollover crash, and the driver is more likely to lose control of the truck when attempting to avoid a collision. In many cases, overloaded trucks also have improperly secured cargo, leading to dangerous falling debris that may injure bystanders or cause additional accidents.

Georgia Enforces Truck Weight Limits

In Georgia, tractor-trailer trucks and semis driving through and within the state must follow state and federal weight restrictions. The maximum gross weight on two (2) or three (3) axles is the number of axles multiplied by 20,340 pounds. For four (4) axles, the maximum gross weight is 70,000 pounds, and for five (5) axles, the maximum gross weight is 80,000 pounds. Any vehicle that exceeds these weight limits requires a special permit in Georgia.

Why Overweight & Overloaded Trucks Cause Accidents

In an attempt to transport more cargo in a single trip, trucking companies sometimes overload trucks, ignoring the state and federal weight restrictions. Overweight and overloaded trucks can contribute to serious accidents for many reasons. For example:

  • Overweight trucks may travel too fast going downhill
  • Overweight trucks travel uphill very slowly, posing a hazard to approaching vehicles
  • Too much weight can cause tires to burst
  • Too much weight can cause brake failure due to stress
  • Overloaded trucks have a higher center of gravity than properly loaded trucks, making them more likely to rollover
  • Overweight trucks may be too heavy for certain roads, bridges, and overpasses, causing damage to these structures or even causing them to collapse

Weigh stations are set up at certain intervals along highways and interstates, and at state lines, to weight and inspect commercial trucks. During a weigh station inspection, trucks are checked for overweight loads and/or illegal or falsely reported cargo, among other violations. However, the discovery of an overweight truck does not always mean the driver will be stopped from returning to the road. Oftentimes, drivers are simply cited with a ticket, and then sent on their way.

Get Help After an Accident with an Overloaded Tractor-trailer

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi or other large commercial truck, the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC can help you recover fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our law firm today by calling (404) 460-0101 or set up an appointment online. We represent clients in the Southeast U.S. and Georgia, including Atlanta, Marietta, Macon, Decatur, Rome, Albany and Columbus.

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