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Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trailers

Tractor-trailers, aka semis, are massive, heavy vehicles. Drivers and carrier companies must take great care to ensure that these vehicles remain safe on the road. Careful attention to the loading and distribution of cargo within the trailers is an important step in making these vehicles safe. Disturbances in the balance of cargo in a trailer, or an attempt to load the trucks with more cargo than they can safely carry, can have dangerous results.

Carrier companies that send packed tractor-trailers all over the country often prioritize moving as much cargo as possible over anything else, including the safety of others on the road. When an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck does happen, it is rarely injurious for the driver, but frequently devastating for any passenger car occupants involved.

Fighting for damages with global carrier companies can leave accident victims feeling overwhelmed

Carrier companies are constantly facing personal injury lawsuits. They retain the top attorneys and fight hard to pay as little as possible to the victims of tractor-trailer accidents. Fighting for damages against these massive corporations alone can leave victims feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

If you’ve been injured in an accident with an overloaded or improperly loaded truck, don’t go to battle alone. Get legal help you can trust to fight tenaciously on your behalf. Meldon Law is the official law firm partner of the Florida Gators, and just like the Gators, we fight to the bitter end to achieve our goal. We won’t rest until justice is done in your case. Contact Meldon Law to discuss your legal options after a Florida truck accident.

What makes an overloaded tractor-trailer dangerous?

Regulations imposed by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association and Florida state law dictate that tractor-trailers traveling through the state weigh 80,000 or less. Certain specialized trucks hauling liquids or chemicals can have stricter weight limits, as well. Even when large trucks aren’t hauling more than they’re legally allowed, this massive weight makes them very difficult to bring to a stop under ideal circumstances. Adding weight beyond that which a truck is rated to carry, or which goes beyond the legal limit, can raise a host of potential dangers.

  • Excessive weight puts pressure on vehicle components. Axles, tires, and wheels are all built to withstand certain weights. Adding more weight than a truck is designed to carry, especially if that truck is older, can result in the destruction of the truck. Should an axle break or tire blow out when the truck is traveling at high speeds on the highway, a driver could lose control and cause the vehicle to fishtail or roll.
  • Overloaded trailers can damage overpasses, bridges and roads. The aging and decay of our nation’s bridges and roads is an area of significant concern. When a truck carrying excessive weight attempts to travel on a bridge or overpass that is not rated to carry such excessive weight, these areas can suffer damage or a full collapse.
  • Semi-trucks carrying more weight than they should become too difficult to bring to a stop. Tractor-trailer brakes are powerful, but stopping trucks when they’re at their normal heavy weight is already a massive undertaking. When drivers carry an excessive amount of weight in an overloaded trailer, they may be unable to bring their trucks to a stop when traveling downhill or at a high speed.

How might improper loading of a trailer result in an accident?

Excessive weight is not the only potential danger in improperly loading a trailer. When cargo is not properly loaded into trailers, that cargo can become a danger to others on the road.

What are common mistakes that make an improperly loaded truck dangerous?

  • Cargo that is not secured: Cargo must be safely secured in the rear of a large truck, even when the cargo component is enclosed, such as in a trailer. If cargo is in an open truck bed and is not appropriately secured, loose items could fly out during transit and injure drivers of other vehicles.
  • Cargo that shifts in transit: When cargo is improperly loaded in a trailer and moves during transit, this can cause a severe imbalance in the truck’s center of gravity even if the truck falls within the legal weight limit. Cargo that suddenly shifts backward or to one side of the trailer can cause the driver to lose control, and could even result in a rollover crash or jackknife accident.
  • Mishandling of dangerous materials: There are strict federal and state regulations on the transport of hazardous materials. If gasoline, industrial chemicals, oil, or other potent substances are not properly handled and stored while trucks are on the road, they could cause dangerous accidents, including fires and explosions.

Help Is Available After Severe Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Florida

If you’ve been injured in a Florida truck accident, get help seeking the recovery you deserve for your injuries by contacting the experienced and effective Florida tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Meldon Law for a free consultation.

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