Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accidents in Hershey

Even without a trailer attached, the cab of a semi-truck is significantly longer, taller, and heavier than even the largest SUV. Adding a fully loaded trailer increases the truck’s size and weight by several degrees of magnitude. With all that mass behind and around them, it’s especially important for commercial truck drivers to act responsibly behind the wheel. On top of that, it’s vital for trucking companies to make sure they’re following state and federal laws governing how heavy their trucks are allowed to be.

Trucks loaded with more cargo than the law allows are more likely to break down in transit and more likely to be involved in a crash with calamitous consequences for everyone involved. That said, filing suit over overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Hershey can be difficult even compared to other types of truck accidents claims. Working with a seasoned truck accident attorney will be a necessity if you want to get paid fairly for your losses.

What Are the Legal Weight Limits for Trucks?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes and enforces various laws designed to keep both truck drivers and other people around them safe while traveling across state lines or otherwise on federally managed roads. Under FMCSA regulations, the most a truck can weigh across its cargo, cab, and trailer combined is 80,000 pounds. Additionally, no truck on interstate highways or crossing state borders can put more than 20,000 pounds of weight on a single axle or more than 34,000 pounds of weight on any one tandem axle group, with the assumption that the truck’s total weight will be split evenly across all its axles or axle groups.

However, since Hershey is fairly far away from both state borders and any interstate highways, most overweight truck accidents involve violations of Pennsylvania’s laws for in-state truck traffic. For the most part, Pennsylvania’s laws in this regard are the same as the FMCSA’s, but trucking companies that apply for and receive special permits can go over the usual weight limits for short in-state trips, as our attorneys can explain in more detail.

What Makes Overweight Trucks So Dangerous?

Every vehicle, whether it’s a typical commuter car or a massive tractor-trailer, has a maximum weight limit that the vehicle’s components and overall design are built to handle. Going over that weight limit puts more strain on individual components than they’re designed to take, which means axles may bend or break, brakes may not work as efficiently, and engines may be more likely to burn out or seize up when pushed to their breaking points.

An overloaded truck takes longer to speed up when its driver presses the gas pedal and slows down when they hit the brakes. It is also more likely to roll over on sharp turns, go into a skid when going down a steep slope, or even start rolling backward while going up a mountain or kill. Put all that together, and you have a vehicle that’s unreasonably dangerous by anyone’s standards, which means you would likely have grounds to sue over any traffic accident in Hershey caused by the truck’s excessive weight.

Get Help with an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident Claim from a Hershey Attorney

Trucking companies that put overweight trucks on the road usually know exactly what they’re doing, and they’re often not above breaking the law to hide their first illegal act after a crash. If you fail to act quickly and get help from experienced legal counsel, you may not be able to find crucial evidence before it is lost or outright destroyed. Without strong evidence, you may struggle to piece together a strong civil claim.

Fortunately, you have assistance available from experienced lawyers with a track record of winning cases just like this in the past. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to discuss your options for a claim based on overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Hershey.