Because trucks are heavier and larger than most vehicles, they can cause more damage when drivers are involved in accidents with them. The most dangerous of these types of accidents are those that involve overweight commercial trucks. If you have been involved in a crash with an overloaded truck, you may wish to seek help from a skilled truck attorney. A knowledgeable Glastonbury overweight/overloaded truck accident lawyer understands the nuances and regulations of claims that involve weight-bearing trucks and could assist you in getting compensation for your injuries.
Truck Weight Regulations
The federal bridge formula regulates the maximum weight of trucks based on the number of axles or axle braces it has. Connecticut weights can be less restrictive than some of the federal laws, which are also based on the number of axels a truck has.
In addition to the number of axels on a truck, its length is also taken into consideration. If it is a two-axle truck, the Connecticut maximum weight is 32,000 pounds. The maximum could be up to 40,000 pounds, depending on the size of the vehicle and whether it is operating within 25 miles of a construction site. If a truck has a three-axle combination of vehicle and trailer, the maximum weight must be between 58,400 pounds and 60,000 pounds.
A four-axle vehicle engaged in construction work has a maximum allowance of 73,000 pounds. If the truck is a four-axle or more straight vehicle-trailer combination, the truck can weigh at most 67,400 pounds if the wheelbase is less than 28 feet. If this type of truck has a wheelbase of 28 feet or more, then it can have a maximum weight of 73,000 pounds. Finally, for a five-axle or more straight vehicle-trailer combination, the maximum weight is 73,000 pounds with an option to use the federal bridge formula for up to 80,000 pounds.
It is important to note that technically a truck never exceeds the maximum weight because the limit changes according to the use of the truck. A two-axle truck’s maximum weight is 36,000 pounds, but it could be 40,000 pounds if it is operating within 25 miles of a construction site, going only a short distance in moving debris away from a construction site.
Driving an Overweight Truck
It is far too common in Connecticut for trucks to operate above their weight limit, but this is most common for trucks with loads around construction sites. Sometimes gravel, dirt, and rain can mix and make the load heavier. The weight of a truck can also impact how a truck driver operates a vehicle, such as when to engage the brakes and what route to take to avoid going down steep hills.
The difference between a truck that is too heavy and a truck that meets acceptable standards of weight, but is carrying too much cargo, depends on whether it is carrying a hazardous substance. It can be within acceptable standards at a certain weight, but that might be too heavy if it is carrying a hazardous substance.
To avoid violating trucking weight regulations, trucking companies should have scales to ensure that their vehicle is an acceptable weight, and they should understand how to load cargo onto the truck appropriately. Truck drivers should also regularly weigh their trucks by using the weighing stations along their route. A Glastonbury overweight/overloaded truck accident attorney understands these slight differences in the trucking industry and could use this information to build a personal injury claim.
Dangers of Driving an Overloaded Truck
The risks to other drivers of a truck being overweight are that the truck more easily can lose control, allowing what is known as a runaway truck. In those cases, the chance of a death occurring is high. Overweight trucks can provide an extreme amount of force when they are operating at a fast speed.
Another danger of overloaded trucks is their cargo, which can easily shift and fly out of the truck if it is not properly secured. As a result, truckers are obligated to secure their cargo to avoid causing serious damage or death, especially if they are driving on a highway. A safe truck is one that is following rules regarding weight and cargo. Overloaded trucks should also be well-maintained and should operate at a safe speed for the load that is in their truck.
Overweight trucks also put a tremendous strain on Connecticut roads and bridges. It is a matter of basic physics that the weight of a heavy truck traveling on pavement over time will diminish the life of the pavement and the bridge itself. A seasoned overweight/overloaded truck wreck lawyer in Glastonbury may be able to help an injured victim hold a trucker responsible for their damages if they did not operate with reasonable care and these dangers in mind.
Liability in Overweight Truck Accidents
There can be multiple parties responsible in an overloaded truck crash. The driver, owner, and the trucking company all can be found liable if there is an accident involving an overweight truck. A Glastonbury lawyer who is familiar with overloaded truck accident claims could evaluate an injured party’s case to help them determine who is liable for their losses.
Contact a Glastonbury Overweight/Overloaded Truck Accident Attorney
It can be difficult to balance recovery with the complicated legal process, but thankfully, legal counsel is available to help. If you are suffering injuries from a collision with a weight-bearing truck, it may be in your best interest to contact a Glastonbury overweight/overloaded truck accident lawyer to assist you in a civil claim. Reach out for a consultation on your case.