Dangers of Overloaded Trucks in Miami, FL
January 5, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Truck Accidents
Federal and state laws govern how much weight a commercial truck can carry. The weight limits are designed to reduce the dangers of overloaded trucks in Miami. Overloaded trucks can cause an increased risk of truck accidents.
Federal law mandates the maximum weight limits for trucks using the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. The maximum gross vehicle weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. Furthermore, the law breaks down federal weight restrictions to 20,000 pounds per single axle and 34,000 pounds for tandem axles.
Does Florida Have Weight Limits for Commercial Trucks?
Florida law defines commercial motor vehicles as any vehicle that:
- Is not owned or operated by the federal government;
- Uses special fuel or motor fuel;
- Operates on a public road; and
- Has a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 or greater or has three or more axles regardless of the weight.
However, there are instances in which a truck must transport loads larger or heavier than the legal limits. In those cases, the truck’s owner can apply for an oversized load permit. The Florida Department of Transportation processes applications for weight and height exemptions.
Unfortunately, having a permit for overloaded trucks does not mean the truck is safe to operate. It only means that the motor carrier has been granted the legal authority to transport an oversized load. Overly large loads can contribute to the cause of a catastrophic commercial truck accident.
What Are the Dangers of Overloaded Trucks in Miami?
Large trucks are involved in thousands of traffic accidents each year. In 2020, almost 147,000 people were injured in truck accidents, and 4,965 people were killed. A scary statistic is that over three-fourths of the deaths and injuries in large truck accidents are passengers in other vehicles.
Commercial trucks have several inherent dangers including, but not limited to:
- Huge blind spots
- Longer stopping distances
- Fatigued truck drivers
- Lack of maintenance and repairs
- Improperly loaded and/or secured loads
Many of the inherent dangers of commercial trucks are intensified by overloading.
Overloaded trucks are much more challenging to handle. In addition, the weight can shift, causing the driver to lose control. Shifting weight and loads can lead to a rollover or jackknife truck accident.
Furthermore, large loads take up much more room on roads, making it more difficult to navigate turns. Making turns can result in running into other vehicles, objects, electrical lines, and other obstacles. Large trucks turning on city streets can also be extremely hazardous to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Another problem with overloaded trucks is the pressure the load places on the truck’s brakes and tires. An overloaded truck is more likely to experience tire blowouts. The brakes might not have the same stopping power or could fail when trying to stop a heavy load.
Trucks with heavy and/or large loads can cause traffic accidents if the load falls off the truck. It can be more difficult to secure oversized truckloads. Furthermore, oversized trucks could have difficulty navigating underpasses and bridges, increasing the risk of a truck accident.
What Damages Can a Miami Overloaded Truck Accident Cause?
Truck accidents often result in life-threatening and catastrophic injuries. Accident victims could spend weeks in the hospital and months in recovery. In addition, some victims sustain life-altering disabilities that require ongoing personal and/or skilled nursing care.
Damages in an oversized truck accident claim include the economic damages incurred by the victims. Financial damages include:
- The cost of medical care, including physical therapy, rehabilitative care, and long-term nursing care
- The loss of income and benefits, including the loss of future wages and decreases in future earning potential
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disabilities and impairments
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Decrease in quality of life
A Miami truck accident lawyer can help victims document damages to maximize the amount recovered in a personal injury claim. An attorney will also investigate the truck crash to identify each party liable for the cause of the accident.
Any party contributing to the cause of an overloaded truck accident could be financially liable for the victim’s damages. However, the victim has the burden of proving causation and fault. An experienced Miami truck accident attorney has the resources and skills to locate the evidence necessary to prove your case.