Why Overloaded Trucks Are Extremely Dangerous on Illinois Roads

Experienced Chicago truck accident attorneys fighting for the rights of victims

Many shipping companies try to save costs by overloading their trucks so fewer trips are required. Overloaded trucks can create many problems for a driver, causing the driver to lose control, which in turn can cause the truck to overturn, jackknife, or have an accident with another driver. Even when the driver is operating his/her vehicle correctly, overloaded cargo can spill onto the roadway, causing cars in both lanes of traffic to crash into the spilled goods, into each other, or off the roadway.

There are many federal and state laws and regulations that govern loading cargo into trucks. Even without these laws, trucking companies and truck drivers are required to use reasonable safety standards and common sense when they load their trucks with retail goods, equipment, machinery, or any type of goods. Our Chicago truck overload attorneys understand which regulations apply and what the industry standards are. At Gainsberg Law, our legal team works to prove that the truck was improperly loaded and was not secure. We seek to hold everyone involved in the overload liable for all injuries and pain a spill causes.

The dangers of overloaded trucks

Truck cargo should be properly distributed so no truck axle bears too much weight. Some of the dangers of overloaded trucks are:

  • Overloaded trucks are dangerous when they speed, as many truck drivers cause them to do – especially if the truck is going down an incline.
  • They’re dangerous when truck drivers attempt to navigate turns.
  • Top-heavy trucks increase the likelihood that a truck may jackknife because the center of gravity shifts.
  • Trucks with heavy loads are likely to shift while the truck is in motion.

When drivers lose control of their truck, the driver can injure himself/herself, any passengers, and the occupants of any cars or vehicles that collide with it. Spills can cause single-car crashes and multiple vehicle collisions.

Truck overload laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a number of regulations to help make sure drivers and truck companies have properly sized and properly secured loads on their trucks. The laws are aimed at reducing accidents and spills. Some of the regulations require that:

  • Cargo must be firmly secured, using structures like dunnage and dunnage bags, tiedowns, wedges, or cradles.
  • Special requirements are required for trucks that transport heavy machinery, concrete, steel, logs, pipes, and other unusually large objects
  • Trucks with loads that are longer or wider than the truck may require warnings to other drivers of excessive loads.

Trucks also cannot exceed their assigned gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Manufacturers of trucks assign a GVWR to each truck depending on factors such as the brakes, powertrains, frame, and suspension.

Speak with a professional Chicago truck accident attorney to get your case started

At Gainsberg Law, we know how deadly and devastating truck accidents can be. That is why our Chicago truck accident lawyers work to show what steps should have been taken to make sure the load was proper for that particular truck. We file claims against the trucking owners and anyone responsible for how the truck was loaded. Our attorneys also seek to hold the driver accountable. If a loved one died or you were injured in a truck accident, an overload may have been the cause. For answers to your questions and tough advocacy, please call our firm at 312-313-1621 to speak with a lawyer. You can also complete our contact form.