According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,900 deaths involved tractor-trailer accidents in 2012. Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers are extremely dangerous due to a truck’s weight and size. According to the NHTSA overloading and improperly loading trucks is a key contributor to motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers.
In New York State there are weight limits that commercial trucks must adhere to. In addition, federal law also mandates that companies adhere to these weight limits when loading trucks. However, often these commercial trucking companies violate these laws, which put everyone on the road at risk of death or serious injury. All commercial trucks must maintain a specific Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) in accordance with relevant law.
Furthermore, there are weight stations on the highway so that truckers are able to ensure that the truck they are driving does not exceed weight standards. The GVWR is calculated using the truck’s frame type, brakes, powertrain, axles, and suspension and should not exceed 80,000 pounds. A GVWR, over 80,000 pounds requires a special permit. In addition, the GVWR is noted on the trucks license plate, once it has been calculated.
Many times, trucking companies fail to maintain a proper GVWR and/or incorrectly load the products on the truck, which is just as dangerous. The weight on a tractor-trailer must be evenly distributed. Without an even distribution of weight, a truck can topple over, especially when making turns. This poses a significant hazard to those on the road. Another common issue is that cargo is not adequately secured to the truck, which takes the driver’s attention away from the road, resulting in an accident.
When an individual is in a motor vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer that was overloaded or improperly loaded, the victim may have a claim against the company. If you or a loved one has been a victim in a trucking accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler, it is important to maintain all documentation, such as hospital records. Contact our New York motor vehicle accident law firm at (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.