Even if a truck driver or his or her employer followed every rule to the dot, commercial trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Some 18-wheelers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Going speeds of upwards of 55 MPH, that amount of weight can easily destroy a small vehicle and any passengers inside. Because of these risks, many states have regulated the trucking industry to save lives, including placing a weight restriction on the vehicles that travel on national highways. In Virginia, for example, an 18-wheeler can only carry about 80,000 pounds. That’s 20,000 pounds for each of its axels.
Why Are Weight Restrictions Important?
The first weight restriction laws were passed by four states in 1913 to protect dirt and gravel roads from damage caused by heavy trucks. When a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in August 2007, killing 13 people and injuring another 145, more people began to pay attention to commercial-truck weight.
Lawmakers have also thought of the physics of an overweight vehicle. The heavier an object, the more susceptible it is to gravity. If a car, which weighs around 3,000 pounds, gains more speed while going downhill, how fast do you think a 90,000-pound truck with freight will go? Also, compare the force of a car with the power of the same truck. While a 3,000-pound car crashing at 60 MPH can total the vehicle, potentially killing the person inside, a 90,000-pound truck hitting at the same speed could take out two or more cars, crushing them in the process.
Heavier vehicles can also cause their tires to burst, can cause brakes to fail, and can tip over more easily, as their center of gravity tends to be higher. While some manufacturers may not like the restrictions, they are necessary.
Trust Our Successful Lawyers with Your Case
Sometimes truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, which require years of medical care and can prevent people from ever working again. If you’ve been injured as a consequence of an overloaded truck, you deserve compensation. Don’t let someone else’s neglect ruin you financially.
Contact us at (804) 220-0223 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation. Tell our Virginia truck accident attorneys about your situation today.