Truck accidents are generally more debilitating than car accidents because of the size of commercial 18-wheelers in comparison to the size of a standard car. Semi-trucks are already much larger than cars, but often carry heavy cargo as well, which contributes to their weight and the difficulty of operation. The cargo of a truck presents its own unique risks, especially if it is too heavy, unbalanced, or hazardous in another way.
Find out what makes overloaded trucks and trailers hazardous and learn more about the accidents they cause.
Cargo Overload Accidents
Too-heavy shipments are one of the top causes of truck accidents. If a truck is carrying more than it can handle, or if the weight is not evenly distributed, the driver can easily lose control of their vehicle and cause a collision.
An overweight cargo hold can cause the following dangers:
- A drifting cargo hold
- Rollover accidents
- Too-wide turns
- Flat tires
- Uncontrollable speed increase
- Inability to brake quickly
Truck drivers must follow federal and state laws that regulate the size of their cargo. Trucking companies are required to report the weight of their vehicles and can be subject to penalties if they are found in violation of the laws.
Dangerous Cargo Accidents
Even if the cargo of a semi-truck is not too heavy, it can still be dangerous in the event of an accident. Some trucks transport hazardous items such as toxic chemicals, electrical equipment, flammable items, and other harmful materials. The contents of a truck’s cargo are regulated just as the size of cargo is, but if a collision occurs, even a compliant substance or item can spill out and cause harm. A truck driver who violates cargo regulations is especially at risk for causing a collision, and could be liable for negligence if they injure others.