Personal Injury Lawyers in Houston TX | O'Hara Law Firm

What Happens if a Semi Truck Is Overweight

What Happens if a Semi-Truck Is Overweight?

Did you know commercial trucking companies are given weight allowances for their truck and cargo? Overweight semi trucks can cause significant damage to roadways. They pose a variety of hazards for other drivers on the road, including you.

If your semi truck was involved in an accident because it had overweight loads, you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible party if they were negligent or reckless.

Here’s everything you need to know about a semi truck in Houston Texas. 

History of Semi Trucks

Semi trucks are the backbone of America’s trucking industry. This is essential to our nation’s economy. A semi truck also known as a tractor-trailer or eighteen-wheeler is a large heavy-duty vehicle. This is used for transporting cargo across long distances.

Although these trucks have been in use for decades, most drivers today don’t know how this modern trucking concept came about. 

Semi trucks have been around since the 1930s. This was when General Electric built the first diesel-electric hybrid. The first diesel engines were 12 to 13 feet long and weighed 2300 pounds. They got about two miles to the gallon of diesel fuel, but at that time, this was amazing!

By the 1970s, semi trucks were being built as far as 50 feet long and weighing up to 75 tons. Today’s fuel cell trucks weigh well over 80 tons and can get around 500 miles to each tank of gas. 

What Makes a Semi Truck Overweight?

How exactly does a semi truck become overweight, and what causes it? There are many reasons that a semi truck can be overweight. The most significant reason for an overweight semi truck is the load itself. Anything that you carry in your truck, whether big or small. They must be properly restrained to keep the load from shifting around too much.

A load with scrap metal or something else that is not properly restrained can add hundreds of pounds of extra unnecessary weight on your truck which will make it go over its maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW).

For semi truck drivers, one of the most important skills to have is knowledge of how to drive their semi-legally and safely. One of the most common errors driven by inexperience is overdrawing the GVW limits specified by a company’s fleet policy. 

Commercial Trucking Companies Get Weight Allowances for Their Truck

Commercial trucking companies get weight allowances for their truck and cargo. These overweight regulations prevent accidents caused by drivers exceeding the maximum weight limit for their vehicles. If you have an accident when your semi truck was overweight be sure to check out our attorney services to see what we can offer you. 

If a driver exceeds the allowed weight limit on their particular highway, they will be liable if an accident results from their negligence. In addition to being responsible for damages that occur as a result of their negligence, a commercial trucking company may also face fines. These are state and federal rules under certain circumstances.

Overweight Trucks Can Cause Significant Damage to Roadways

One of the most obvious effects is that they put stress on the roadways. This can result in cracks and ultimately failure.

These cracks will often appear as potholes or sinkholes. However, even a small crack can cause serious damage if not repaired promptly.

Driving an Overweight Truck Can Put You at Risk in the Event of an Accident

If you’re driving an overweight truck, you could be putting yourself and others at risk in the event of an accident. The most obvious reason is that overloading can make a semi truck more likely to roll over. The extra weight on the back adds instability.

It makes it harder for drivers to keep control of their vehicles in emergencies such as sudden stops or evasive maneuvers.

For example, if you’re the passenger in another vehicle when this happens and you don’t have your seatbelt securely fastened. You could end up thrown out onto the road or even underneath another vehicle.

If you are involved in an accident with an overweight truck, there’s a good chance that your vehicle will suffer more damage than if it were hit by a truck carrying its proper amount of cargo. 

To stop this from happening avoid driving around near big trucks when possible especially when they’re turning. These types of accidents are especially common during turns due to their increased likelihood of rollovers

Make sure that any cargo loaded into your car doesn’t exceed its weight limit

You Might Be Held Liable for Any Damages That Occur

When your semi truck is overweight, you can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of your negligence. This is even if you were not the one driving it.

This means that you are not careful when calculating the weight of your semi truck. Do check in with the state to see if it needs to be weighed again before hitting the road. Remember you could still be held responsible for any damages that occur as a result of its being overweight.

If a truck carrying hazardous materials is involved in an accident that causes damage to property or injury to another person, they may also be able to sue both the owner of the vehicle and their employer.

The Future of Overweight Semi Trucks

Overweight semi trucks are a contentious topic in the trucking industry. Many states have laws that regulate the weight of trucks on their roads. But what about vehicles being designed for the future of rural roads?

These trucks could be much safer than standard models. However, states haven’t caught up to their development yet. We’re talking about what oversize vehicles will look like in the future in the 2030s and 40s. We will consider how this new technology could affect our lives. Then we can better understand how new developments affect drivers and others on the road.

Trucking companies have already started to convert their loads to lighter-weight materials. Today, as long as trucks stay at or below a weight limit and only travel within a certain distance of the center of the country (usually between 30 degrees of latitude north and south in the lower 48 states). They are allowed to carry much heavier loads than they would be allowed if they traveled outside those parameters.

Reuters reports that many trucking companies have been seeking ways out of their contracts with shippers that are bound by those strict limits.

Driverless Trucks

Just as Uber and Lyft have changed how accident insurance works, so too will driverless Semi trucks reinvent Trucking. The driverless revolution is coming to the trucking industry, and the numbers make it clear. The benefits of driverless semi trucks will more than compensate for the costs.

They are unlikely to be overweight since they will be loaded automatically by robots who won’t overload them. However, driverless trucks will change the way insurance claims are made. Since there is no driver, the responsibility for paying out in the case of an accident may lie with the manufacturer of the truck. 

For now, however, you will still need the advice of a personal injury lawyer

Overweight penalties could disappear. Most importantly of all driverless semi trucks will enable clients to get their goods delivered to them more efficiently and cheaply. 

Companies like Amazon, Apple and Tesla are all investing billions of dollars to win the race to become the first to master and sell the driverless vehicle.

Whilst we all know about the future of driverless cars, driverless trucks are more likely to get on the road first. This is because they offer more use in terms of getting goods cross country for a lower cost by effectively eliminating the labor force. 

An Overweight Semi Truck in Houston, Texas, Can Be A Problem 

You might think an overweight semi truck in a big city like Houston Texas is not a big problem. However, they can cause loads of problems especially if there is an accident. 

If you were injured in an accident caused by an overweight truck, contact a Houston personal injury attorney. They can provide representation to you in times of need.

We have years of experience helping people get compensation for their injuries and losses in semi truck accidents. Great attorneys will review your case. They can then determine if you have grounds for legal action against the party responsible for your injuries. 

A personal injury attorney can also help you understand the process of filing a lawsuit against the trucking company. Particularly one that caused your injuries to cover medical costs. As well as lost wages, and other damages.

Be sure to contact us today to see how we can assist you. 

Car Accident Attorney Houston, TX