The federally-regulated maximum weight that a vehicle must be under changes depending on its use and the number of axles it has. The Federal Bridge Formula calculates the maximum weight that an overloaded truck is permitted to have based on the number of axles and axle braces it has.
If the truck is a four-axle vehicle engaged in construction, the maximum allowance is 73,000 pounds. However, if this truck is a straight vehicle-to-trailer combination, it can weigh 67,400 pounds at most. If the type of truck has a wheelbase of 28 feet or more, then it can have a maximum weight of 73,000 pounds.
In 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. If this truck is a two-axle vehicle with a maximum weight of 36,000 pounds, it could be 40,000 pounds if it is operating within 25 miles of a construction site.
Because the specifics of what defines an overloaded vehicle varies, it can be difficult to properly file a claim against a negligent driver without a Manchester overweight truck accident lawyer by your side. A skilled attorney could review your case and determine if the truck that hit you could be classified as an overweight truck and how this may impact your case.
What a Driver Can Do to Ensure Their Truck is an Acceptable Weight
A truck driver or their employer can ensure that their vehicle is at an acceptable weight by using a scale to weigh their trucks. Companies should ensure that their trucks are within the appropriate weight because overloaded vehicles may be more likely to be in accidents and cause significant damage. A Manchester overweight truck accident attorney could review an injured claimant’s case and determine if a trucking company could be liable if they failed to keep their vehicles under the proper weight.
Under What Circumstances Might a Truck Exceed Maximum Weight?
There are a few circumstances that a truck may exceed the maximum weight. One occurs when a trucking company tries to overload their vehicles to cut costs. This violates trucking regulations, and therefore if a truck driver in this situation gets into an accident the company may be liable for any injuries that result.
However, it is also common for some trucks to operate above the acceptably safe weight, especially if they are used for construction or short-term hauling. A truck may also inadvertently become overweight if it rains and its trailer fills up with water as it is traveling.
A truck’s cargo may legally exceed the maximum weight or capacity if it is within 25 miles of a construction site. This exception acknowledges the difficulties with short-hauling trucking, and moving substances such as fill, waste, and concrete.
If an overweight truck causes an accident, the truck driver, the trucking company, or the lessor can be found liable. An overloaded truck accident lawyer in Manchester could determine who may be responsible if a truck violated the maximum weight regulations.
Potential Hazards Associated with Overweight Trucks
There are additional risks posed to other drivers when an overweight truck is involved in a collision. For example, there could be more property damage, catastrophic injuries, cases of head trauma, and deaths.
Overloaded trucks may also put infrastructure at risk due to their size and weight. The heavier the truck, the more damage it may cause to bridges and roads. When a truck that is too heavy travels across a small bridge, and it may collapse.
These additional hazards may change depending on the kind of cargo that is in a truck at the time of an accident. If a tanker truck with hazardous, flammable material gets into an accident, there could be a significant risk for a fire hazard. Alternatively, if cargo is not secured properly, it can be thrown out of the truck and injure oncoming traffic.
Contact a Manchester Overweight Truck Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries after getting involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle, contact a Manchester overweight truck accident lawyer for help on your claim. They could guide you through the legal process and help you pursue compensation. To learn how a legal representative could help you with your case, call today.