Increased Tractor-Trailer Truck Weight Limits Could Have Devastating Impacts


The massive size and weight of commercial freight trucks are an impressive sight, and their use can be very convenient for our supply-chain needs, but their presence is an ever-looming threat. The number of large trucks on the road has increased over the last 20 years, but the danger they pose has not been appropriately mitigated. Recent Georgia legislation increased the intrastate truck weight limits to over 80,000 lbs for certain commercial industries. However, just because trucks of a certain size are limited to using certain roads and highways does not mean they’re any less dangerous. 

Truck Safety Failures

The additional weight carried by trucks and trailers significantly impact the safety of their drivers and the drivers around them. It’s basic physics; the heavier the object, the more effort it takes to stop once it’s in motion. Truck drivers are trained professionals, but there are still many safety factors to consider aside from possible negligence. Increased weight can affect multiple moving parts, including brake systems, tires, suspension, and early impact detection systems. This leads to significantly longer stopping distances, reduced overall maneuverability, and increased chances of parts failures for brakes and tires. No matter how much training a licensed commercial driver has, it will not prevent the possibility of a crash or limit the severe consequences for other vehicles involved. Regardless of how fast a truck is going on the road, if the driver fails to pay attention for a single moment, it could cost lives.

Course of Action

When you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck, negligent driving plays a significant role, though not exclusively. Which parties to hold responsible for the accident and subsequent damages largely depend on the individual circumstances leading up to the accident. Negligent drivers are usually distracted, speeding, fatigued, or driving under the influence. The increased weight and slowed reaction time can exacerbate the consequences of such negligence, making it important to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.

It’s still important to consider that drivers do not always bear complete fault in certain accidents. Manufacturers also have a responsibility to design, produce, and manufacture safe parts for cars and trucks. Faulty safety features like airbags that fail to deploy or unstable seats can contribute to the devastation during a collision. In some cases, certain required safety features like stability control systems or alert systems could be outdated or simply not programmed for certain weights. In these cases, some of the responsibility may fall on the manufacturer or trucking company for failing to maintain safety precautions. 

Unfortunately, we can’t always prevent certain collisions, and no matter how safely we drive, there is still a chance that someone’s negligence will negatively impact a lot of people. When taking action and filing a truck accident claim, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A crash involving large commercial vehicles could have many responsible parties, and it’s essential to enlist the help of an attorney who will help gather evidence, identify liable parties, and work to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call the office of Robin Frazer Clark at 404.873.3700 today.

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