Euless Oversized Loads Accident Lawyer
A truck accident is many drivers’ worst nightmare. Due to their size and weight, large commercial transport vehicles like tractor-trailers inflict serious damage in an accident. When the accident involves an oversized load, the results can even be deadly.
According to Oversize.io, 6% of all truck loads qualify as overweight or oversized loads. That’s approximately 600 million tons of freight that are too heavy, too long, or too wide to fit in a normal truck. When oversized loads cause accidents, drivers, passengers, or pedestrian bystanders are often injured. Oversized load accidents also result in significant property damage.
Were you involved in an accident with a truck carrying an oversized load? If so, you may be eligible for compensation for damages. Call a Euless, TX accident lawyer today to discuss your rights. Consultations are 100% free and confidential. Dial (214) 305-8277 to make your appointment or use our online contact form.
Oversized Load Truck Facts
In the United States, there are legal restrictions on the size and weight of commercial transport vehicles like tractor-trailers and semi-trucks. These trucks cannot exceed 8.5 feet in width, 13.5 feet in height, or 72 feet in length from the cab to trailer. The total gross weight of a truck must be less than 80,000 pounds.
When a truck or its cargo exceeds these limitations, the trucking company must apply for a special oversized load permit. Permit requirements vary by state. Usually, they are issued for a limited number of hauls or a specific time duration. This is because oversized loads often consist of construction materials, industrial equipment, prefabricated buildings, or other items for limited jobs.
In addition to permits, oversized loads are required to follow unique safety rules. They must display a banner that says “WIDE LOAD” or “OVERSIZED LOAD,” as well as brightly colored safety flags. These warning flags must be attached to the edges of the load. Some states also require trucks hauling oversized loads to use flashing lights.
Oversized loads must also be accompanied by escort vehicles. Escort vehicles are cars or trucks that drive near the oversized load. Usually, one vehicle drives ahead of the truck while another follows behind. The escort drivers stay in constant contact with the truck driver over radio, alerting the truck driver to any hazards. They can also help create a “buffer” so the oversized load can navigate traffic more easily.
Although an oversized load can be found almost anywhere in Texas, these vehicles are more common on major highways and roads near construction sites. If you encounter an oversized load, give the truck plenty of space.
Causes of Oversized Load Accidents
While anyone can potentially be involved in an accident with an oversized load, certain factors increase your risk. Common causes of oversized load accidents include:
Whenever possible, try to avoid driving during snowstorms, hurricanes, heavy fog, and other severe weather conditions. Bad weather increases the accident risk exponentially. Oversized load drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles during inclemate weather. These weather conditions impair the driver’s ability to see. They also make roads more slippery, causing a truck driver to have difficulty steering or braking.
When severe weather is forecast, most trucking companies cancel or postpone oversized load jobs and wait for safer conditions. However, the weather is often unpredictable. A truck hauling an oversized load that gets stuck in a sudden storm can cause accidents.
Potholes and Other Road Damage
Weather isn’t the only cause of hazardous road conditions. Many road surfaces become damaged and uneven due to poor infrastructure. If a city or county isn’t properly maintaining its roads and highways, the street surface can develop potholes, cracks, and bumps that may cause accidents.
For a small car, a pothole may be a minor inconvenience. For a large truck carrying an oversized load, it can spell disaster. This is because bad road conditions like potholes can cause a truck to become unbalanced. They may also cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle.
Some oversized load accidents are caused by other drivers behaving recklessly. Drivers who speed, change lanes without signaling, pass improperly, tailgating, or perform other reckless maneuvers cause accidents. They may force a truck driver to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid hitting them. Unfortunately, this can cause the truck driver to lose control of their oversized load. As they avoid hitting the reckless driver, they may tip over, jack-knife, or skid into another lane and hit other vehicles.
Blind spots on oversized load trucks are even worse than normal tractor-trailers and other large vehicles. While the oversized load’s escort vehicles and warning flags help create a “perimeter” around the truck, some drivers ignore these safety measures. If a driver tailgates or passes improperly, they may linger in the oversized load’s large blind spots and result in a collision.
Fatigued driving is another common cause of truck accidents, including accidents involving oversized loads. Truck driving is a stressful occupation, which often requires drivers to work long shifts or drive overnight. As a result, many truck drivers are chronically fatigued.
When a driver hasn’t had enough rest, they are three times more likely to be involved in an accident. In fact, the adverse effects of fatigued driving are equivalent to driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol level. If the driver of an oversized load gets tired and starts to nod off, they may lose control and cause an accident.
What to Do After an Oversized Load Accident
Even minor, slow-moving accidents involving oversized loads can be catastrophic for the drivers and passengers in other cars. If you’re ever involved in a collision with an oversized load, first move your car out of moving traffic so you don’t cause further accidents. Then, check for injuries. If anyone in your vehicle needs medical attention, call 911 right away.
Once you and your passengers are safe, get the truck driver’s information. Make sure you get their insurance information as well as their employer’s information, since the employer may also be liable for damages.
Finally, call (214) 305-8277 to schedule a free consultation with a Euless, TX truck accident lawyer. We’ll help you determine your next steps.