The Florida trucking industry is governed by federal and state regulations that establish standards for the proper loading of semi-trucks. These regulations limit the maximum weight and length of a fully loaded tractor-trailer. Requirements for the balancing and securing of cargo also are imposed to reduce the threat of permanent debilitating injuries and fatalities caused by large trucks. When commercial carriers, truck drivers, and shippers fail to observe these rules, the risk of the loss of control of a semi-truck increases. An overloaded or unbalanced tractor-trailer might be more prone to rollover and jackknife accidents, or otherwise respond inefficiently to evasive or emergency maneuvers.
If you are injured or lose a loved one in a collision involving an overloaded or improperly loaded semi-truck, the failure to observe industry standards and trucking regulations can provide a basis for imposing liability. Orlando Trucking Accident Lawyer Mark Cressman carefully investigates trucking cases and works closely with trucking industry experts to uncover regulatory violations or other forms of negligence.
Overloaded Tractor-Trailers in Florida
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes a maximum gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds for fully loaded tractor-trailers engaged in interstate commerce (i.e., operating across state lines). Commercial carriers have an incentive to exceed these limits because more cargo can be moved in fewer trips which might mean increased profits. However, excessive loads might compromise the handling of a semi-truck and increase braking distance. When trucks are less responsive in emergency situations, such as an obstructions in the roadway or an interruption in traffic flow, the risk of a collision is higher. Further, longer braking distances can mean the difference between a potentially deadly crash and a near miss.
Overloaded semi-trucks also contribute to potential fatal trucking accidents in another way. The extra weight results in more wear and tear on the brakes and tires of tractor-trailers. Maintenance issues involving tire blowouts and brake failure are common causes of semi-truck collisions. Trucking companies, commercial drivers, and/or cargo shippers might be financially responsible for injuries or fatalities caused by excessive loads.
Loads That Are Not Properly Secured During Shipping
Trucking regulations also require that loads be properly secured to prevent shifting during transport or falling cargo. If cargo shifts during transport, a semi-truck can be thrown out of balance which might cause the truck to jackknife or rollover during sudden evasive maneuvers or emergency braking.
Cargo that is not properly fastened to the bed of a trailer can cause a crash if it falls into traffic lanes. Items that are lost in the roadway create obstructions that can start a chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles. Objects also might fall directly onto another vehicle or penetrate the windshield of a large truck.
If you have been injured or a loved one has died in a trucking accident, Orlando Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Mark Cressman has been taking on large trucking companies and their insurers for over two decades. At the Cressman Law Firm, we work closely with trucking investigators and experts to balance of scales of justice for trucking accident victims. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a fatigued truck driver, overloaded tractor-trailer, or improperly maintained big-rig, Mr. Cressman invites you to call today at (407) 877-7317 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal rights and to obtain a case evaluation.