Commercial trucks are massive machines that can carry tens of thousands of pounds of cargo. Because crash risks increase the heavier a truck or tractor-trailer becomes, state and federal regulators enforce a number of rules when it comes to cargo, including cargo securement regulations and strict weight limits.
As enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees safety regulations for trucks engaged in interstate travel, cargo-carrying commercial vehicles must comply with weight restrictions. Not only do these weight restrictions protect U.S. roads and infrastructure from excessive wear and tear caused by heavy vehicles, they also protect the public from the risks posed by overloaded trucks and preventable truck accidents.
Under current regulations, commercial trucks and tractor trailers cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. That gross weight limit includes both vehicle weight and the weight of any cargo on board. For single unit trucks, including box trucks, the federal weight limit is 57,000 pounds.
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Commercial vehicle weight limits matter for a number of reasons:
Having too much cargo on a commercial vehicle can make it highly susceptible to becoming unbalanced, difficult to stop and maneuver, and more likely to be involved in a crash. These federal weight limit regulations exist for a reason, and they must be followed in order to protect the public from preventable risks. Depending on the type of truck and the cargo it carries, the weight limits may also vary. Our legal team knows the regulations in place, and can determine whether weight limit violations were involved in your wreck.
It is no secret that trucking companies and their commercial insurance carriers are big and powerful businesses. As such, they care more about their profits than they do public safety. This is explicitly evidence in the trucking industry’s long battle to increase federal weight limits for commercial trucks. After all, heavier trucks mean more cargo and more money for their company.
Fortunately, advocates and lawmakers have been successful in blocking the trucking industry’s repeated attempts to increase federal weight limits. However, that does not prevent all trucking operators from willfully violating regulations and loading more cargo onto their fleet in order to increase their profits. Because overweight truck violations place the public in danger, these companies can and should be held accountable for violating the law and liable when victims suffer harm as a result.
At Accident Attorneys, our Lancaster truck accident lawyers represent victims throughout the Antelope Valley following preventable trucking wrecks, including those involving trucks that were overloaded. By leveraging our experience and our resources, we help victims level the playing field with companies that prioritize profits over people and fight to compel those companies into paying victims the compensation they rightfully deserve.
Our legal team at Accident Attorneys is readily available to help you or a loved one following a trucking accident and preventable injuries. Our team provides representation to clients across the Antelope Valley, and offers free and confidential consultations to help you get started. Call (661) 945-4357 to speak with a member of our firm.
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