Grapevine Oversized Loads Accident Lawyer
Every day, there are thousands of truck accidents across the nation. In Texas, many of these accidents involve oversized loads. Unfortunately, oversized loads often cause the most catastrophic collisions. Victims may suffer severe injuries or even death.
A truck hauling an oversized load, also known as a “wide load,” can cause much greater damage than a normal commercial truck. The truck’s cargo itself may result in a serious impact that contributes to the accident. Oversized loads can come loose and spill onto the road, wreaking havoc for other drivers.
If you’re involved in an oversized load truck accident, it’s vital to seek legal representation. These truck accidents may be extra complicated because the truck driver’s employer often shares liability. If the accident occurred near a construction zone, the construction company or the city may also be at fault.
Remember, all truck accident victims have rights. You may be owed compensation if you are injured or incur property damage due to an oversized load accident. To explore your legal options after a collision, dial (214) 305-8277 to speak to a Grapevine, TX attorney. All consultations are 100% free. If we don’t win your case, you won’t be charged for our services.
Oversized Load Accident Dangers
Oversized loads are often used to transport industrial equipment, construction materials, prefabricated buildings, or other cargo that cannot be broken down into smaller components. These loads are often taller, wider, and/or heavier than standard cargo limits.
In most states, drivers need a special permit to operate an oversized load truck. Permit requirements vary from state to state. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a cargo truck is considered an oversized load when it exceeds any of the following measurements:
- Cargo weight over 80,000 pounds maximum
- Truck width exceeding 8 feet, 6 inches
- Truck height over 14 feet
- Tractor-trailer length exceeding 65 feet
- Front overhang exceeding 3 feet
- Rear overhang exceeding 4 feet
In addition to permitting, trucks hauling oversized loads in Texas must follow special safety guidelines. These vehicles must display a yellow “Oversized Load” banner as well as flags that mark the corners or boundaries of the cargo overhang. They must also be accompanied by escort vehicles.
According to Career Trend, an oversized load escort vehicle can be a passenger car, truck, or van. Escort drivers must be over 21 years old. Some states require these drivers to obtain a special license. Occasionally, companies require a passenger to accompany the escort driver to act as an extra flag person.
Escort vehicles are equipped with warning lights or flags to alert other drivers about the oversized load. Usually, one escort vehicle drives in front of the oversized load while a second vehicle follows behind. Escort drivers remain in constant communication with the truck driver. They let the driver know about any upcoming turns, stopped traffic, or road hazards like potholes.
Escort vehicles can also help the oversized load maneuver through traffic. If the truck needs to pull over, they can clear a path for the truck driver and help them change lanes safely.
Oversized loads require this careful protocol because of the danger they pose to other drivers. Due to their weight and size, a truck hauling an oversized load can inflict serious damage to other cars.
Trucks hauling oversized loads are also much more difficult to control than a regular truck. The added weight and unusual size can disrupt the truck’s balance. They also have greater momentum, so drivers have more difficulty bringing these vehicles to a safe stop. If a truck driver loses control of an oversized load, they may cause a severe accident.
Causes of Oversized Load Accidents
Despite the presence of escort vehicles and warning markers, oversized loads still cause accidents. There are several factors that contribute to oversized load accidents, including:
Poorly Secured Cargo
Oversized load cargo needs to be carefully secured with chains, straps, or industrial netting. If the load isn’t secured properly, it can come loose once the vehicle is in motion. The cargo may fall onto another vehicle, spill into the road, or affect the truck’s balance.
In these scenarios, the shipping company may be liable rather than the truck driver. That’s why it’s always important to get the driver’s employer information as well as the information for any third parties who may be involved in the shipment process.
Oversized load accidents also occur due to mechanical failure. Like all commercial trucks, oversized load vehicles need regular safety inspections and maintenance. If the vehicle experiences brake problems, engine failure, or issues with steering, the driver may cause an accident. This is another care where the driver’s employer may be liable for the accident.
Most companies try to avoid scheduling oversized load shipments during bad weather. However, sometimes the forecast changes. If the oversized load driver encounters dense fog, heavy rain, or a blizzard, it can affect their visibility. They may cause an accident because they can’t see the road.
Ice and flooding can also contribute to oversized load accidents. These conditions affect the driver’s ability to steer and create difficulty braking.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Bad weather isn’t the only hazardous road condition that can trigger an oversized load accident. Potholes, uneven pavement, or objects in the road can cause serious safety problems for a truck driver. Although escort vehicles are supposed to alert the driver to these hazards, there may be scenarios where they still cause accidents.
Finally, driver impairment can lead to oversized load accidents. If a truck driver is distracted, fatigued, or otherwise impaired, they may lose control of their vehicle. This can result in a deadly accident.
What to Do After an Oversized Load Truck Accident
If you’re involved in an accident with an oversized load, proceed with caution. Call local law enforcement or state highway patrol. Request medical assistance for any injuries. Then, move your vehicle to a safe location and exchange information with the truck driver and anyone else involved in the crash.
Then, call (214) 305-8277 for a free consultation with a Grapevine truck accident lawyer.