Every vehicle has a maximum load capacity. Manufacturers determine that capacity by considering the vehicle’s structure, suspension, brakes, powertrain, and more. However, commercial vehicles have external rules regarding their payloads. Both state and federal regulations dictate the maximum weight they can carry. If trucks exceed those limits, the drivers must get permission for an oversized load. That is because overly heavy loads contribute to accidents.
Oversize loads make it more likely that the trucker will be unable to stop, jackknife, or rollover. They also decrease acceleration, making trucks slower and less responsive. Furthermore, they make crashes more dangerous since a larger load translates to greater force. If you have been injured because of an oversized truck, you should consult a lawyer with experience handling overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Schaumburg. Reach out to The Kryder Law Group today to speak with a qualified 18-wheeler crash attorney about your case.
Rules and Regulations for Commercial Vehicle Transport
Every commercial vehicle has a manufacturer’s maximum payload. However, they rarely carry that amount because they must comply with state and federal rules. Illinois has the same limits as many other states. They restrict trucks to a maximum of 80,000 pounds. The amount decreases as the number of axles decreases—each can carry 20,000 pounds.
Like other states, Illinois uses weigh stations to ensure truck drivers comply with weight limits. However, these weigh stations cannot catch every overweight truck. Plus, a brief examination will not necessarily capture people under federal weight limits but above their vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Having an oversized load permit does not negate a negligence claim. 625 ILCS 5/15 – 301 provides that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) can issue overweight permits. Truckers can apply for these permits online, and they may be immediately approved. However, nothing in the law lessens a truck driver’s duty of care when hauling a heavier load—they can still be liable for causing overloaded/overweight truck collisions in Schaumburg.
The Dangers of Overloaded Trucks
Overweight trucks are more dangerous than other commercial vehicles. They are more challenging to steer. Adding additional weight makes it more difficult to brake—increasing stopping distance and increasing the risk of runaway trucks. They are also slower to accelerate, and slow-moving trucks can contribute to other accidents on the road.
Depending on the type of truck, an oversized load can create additional road hazards. They may spill or lose cargo. Flying debris can contribute to wrecks or even crush other vehicles. Sometimes, the trucker may not even realize they are losing cargo.
When they are in accidents, oversized loads can make trucks more dangerous. The trucks are at a greater risk of rolling over and jackknifing. More weight means more pressure on the equipment, increasing the risk of blow-outs and other malfunctions. They are also heavier, which means more force in a collision.
Finally, oversized loads can lead to other serious issues. Roads, bridges, and overpasses have weight capacities. A large load can strain those capacities, resulting in infrastructure failure. These overloaded/overweight truck accidents could severely harm many people in Schaumburg.
Enlist the Help of an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident Attorney in Schaumburg
An overweight truck accident claim can become highly complicated. The driver may not be responsible for the size of the load. Their trucking company may share responsibility. It could also be due to a third party, like a loading company. In those instances, you may have claims against multiple parties.
Furthermore, it can be challenging to demonstrate how an oversized load contributed to a wreck. You need to prove that the load was too large and that its size was the primary cause of the crash. A proactive attorney at The Kryder Law Group could investigate a crash and determine which parties may be liable. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our firm who handles overloaded/overweight truck accidents in Schaumburg to discuss the details of your specific case.