An overloaded tractor trailer presents serious hazards both to the truck driver and other motorists. Unfortunately, with tight delivery windows and a huge uptick in online ordering, the logistics industry sometimes loads trucks beyond capacity in an attempt to keep up with growing demands. The heavier the vehicle, the more difficult it is to control — and the higher the risk of roadway issues like trucking accidents. Fortunately, you can steer clear of overloaded tractor trailers by looking out for these signs.
How to Tell if a Truck Is Overloaded
1. Difficulty Slowing Down
If a truck has its brake lights on but the vehicle is failing to slow down, its braking system could be struggling to make up for the heavy load. Under normal circumstances, a fully loaded truck will need up to two football fields to stop on a highway. This is why it’s recommended that motorists leave plenty of space between their vehicles and tractor trailers to avoid potentially serious trucking accidents. If you suspect a truck is overloaded, you’ll want to stay even further away.
2. Swaying and Control Issues
It’s always a good idea to watch other drivers on the road. With trucks, it’s especially important, because issues like swaying and drifting could indicate oversized cargo. When the load is too heavy, a tractor-trailer will be more difficult to steer, so drivers may struggle to turn or bypass obstacles safely. If the trailer is swaying, be sure to keep a significant distance from the truck.
3. Suspension Problems
A truck’s suspension absorbs impact upon hitting potholes and bumps. When the load is too heavy, however, the suspension system suffers. The wheel springs get compressed, the metal components could crack, and the risk of a tire blowout increases. At high speeds, these factors are enough to cause a major trucking accident. Since suspension problems also cause steering issues, look for turning difficulties and other control issues, and avoid any trucks displaying these signs.
While it’s important to know what to watch for on the road, even the most seasoned drivers can be affected by trucking accidents. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to a roadway event in the Carlsbad, NM area, turn to Balderrama Law Firm for dependable representation. This attorney’s office is dedicated to pursuing the best possible outcomes for their clients. Schedule a free case evaluation by sending the firm a message online or by calling (575) 234-1111.