Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyers in OK
Representing Clients in Collisions Involving an Overweight Truck
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) typically classifies "large trucks" as any vehicle with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more. Box trucks often fit into this category, as well as tractor-trailers with one or more trailers. The FMCSA limits tractor-trailer weight in most cases to 80,000 pounds or less. When a large truck is overloaded, it may not only be violating safety regulations, but also posing a serious injury risk.
Overloaded Trucks and Non-Rollover Crashes in Oklahoma
An overloaded truck also poses an increased risk of non-rollover crashes. Some of the dangerous situations an overloaded truck can create include the following:
- Increased impact severity when an overloaded truck strikes a passenger car. Since the average passenger vehicle weighs about 3,200 pounds and an overloaded tractor-trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, the difference in force is severe - and the smaller vehicle will take the worst of the damage.
- Increased risk of brake failure. Large trucks often have multiple sets of brakes, which they need to stop the increased momentum they have with their extra weight. When even one part of these brake systems fails, the truck can become much more difficult to stop - and it may not be able to stop in time to avoid a crash. When a brake system fails entirely, a serious crash, such as a jackknife accident, may be the only possible way to stop the truck. This emergency stop might save lives, but it also puts others on the road at serious risk.
Overloaded Trucks and Rollover Collisions
One of the most dangerous types of large truck accidents is a rollover. According to a FMCSA study of rollover and jackknife crashes, weight is one of the key factors that increases the risk of a rollover wreck - the heavier a truck is, the more likely it is to roll over. This is particularly true when the truck or its trailer are quite tall and when the weight is carried higher over the length of the truck, such as when a trailer is uniformly overloaded with cargo. The lower the center of weight sits, the less likely a rollover is to occur.
According to a recent FMCSA study, the average weight of single-unit trucks involved in rollover crashes is 28,000 pounds, compared to only 23,000 pounds for single-unit trucks that don't roll over. When multiple vehicles are involved in the rollover, the average weight is 30,469 pounds, versus 25,688 pounds for single-unit trucks involved in multiple-vehicle, non-rollover crashes.
The differences were even more pronounced in tractor-trailer rollovers: when a rollover involved multiple vehicles, the average weight of the tractor-trailer was 64,885 pounds. When a non-rollover involved multiple vehicles, however, the average weight of the tractor-trailer was only 50,178 pounds.
Legal Experience On Your Side - Call (405) 285-4357
Overloaded trucks are subject to tickets and other penalties if they are stopped, because their excessive weight can put others on the road at serious risk. If you've been injured in a crash with an overloaded truck, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your legal rights - or how you will get it all done while also struggling to recover from your injuries. Call a trucking accident lawyer in Oklahoma today at (405) 285-4357 for a free, confidential consultation.
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