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Overloading a big rig is a major injury and liability risk

Some people dismiss intuition, saying it means little, but when you are driving next to a big rig that keeps edging closer to your car, thoughts of impending disaster might surface.

Most professional drivers know how to load their cargo. However, overloading continues to be a problem that threatens motorist safety and opens the door to liability issues for the trucking company and others.

Losing control

Truck overloading is among the major causes of truck-related crashes. If cargo is overweight or unbalanced, there is a greater chance for the driver to lose control of the vehicle. All it takes is for the load to shift when the truck makes a sharp turn or swerves to avoid an accident, and you have an 18-wheeler involved in a devastating incident, such as a rollover.

Braking issues

A truck that is overloaded is heavier, requiring increased braking distances. A novice driver, especially, may not account for the extra time it will take to bring the big vehicle to a safe stop. This kind of problem increases when the truck is traveling down an incline. Furthermore, along with other equipment, brakes will deteriorate more quickly due to the wear and tear caused by overloading.

Lowering the risks

Trucking companies must train new drivers in proper loading practices. Drivers should be well-informed about the dangers of overloading. For example, they should know that improper load distribution can result in a raised center of gravity, which increases the possibility of a rollover. Off-balance cargo, which raises safety concerns, also increases operating costs and shortens the lifespan of the vehicle.

Inviting liability

Given the fact that overloading is an accident risk, liability is a major concern for any company that owns and operates commercial trucks. Injuries suffered in a truck-car crash can be utterly devastating, and victims need to know their options for holding the repsonsible parties accountable and obtaining the maximum available compensation for medical bills, lost income and other damages resulting from the crash.

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