It is well known that overloaded trucks are unsafe to drive. Statistics show that overloaded cargo is a leading cause of trucking accidents, and, year after year, motorists in West Virginia and other states are placed at risk of serious injury or death by truckers whose payloads are unbalanced or overweight. In addition to other safety concerns, overloaded trucks are difficult to handle and have a reduced emergency handling capability, which could ultimately result in a crash.
Less experienced drivers may not always judge a truck’s stopping distance realistically under the best of circumstances. When a semi is carrying too much weight, it could gain speed when descending an incline more quickly than they expect, and they might realize too late that more force to the brake is required to avoid a collision.
Overloaded cargo is a factor in other trucking accidents because the load could suddenly shift, causing the driver to lose control of the commercial vehicle. If the load shift occurs during a sharp turn or lane change, the risk of a rollover increases. Even when payloads are within limits, improperly loaded cargo could cause an off-balance truck to roll over without warning, possibly endangering other motorists. Perhaps equally unsafe, an insufficiently secured payload could cause items to fall from the moving truck, creating a hazardous situation for other drivers nearby.
In West Virginia, a motorist who is seriously injured in a truck crash due to overweight or improperly loaded or restrained cargo may have recourse. Dependent upon the facts of the case, a personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the trucking company and its insurance carrier on behalf of the client who has suffered a loss.