Commercial truck accidents involving overloads are shown by statistics year after year to be some of the most prevalent truck hazards on the road in North Carolina and all around the country. An unbalanced payload, especially when an unqualified or inattentive truck driver is at the wheel, can create a loss of control that could end in serious injuries or death in a semi-truck accident. Even if the truck isn’t overloaded, an unbalanced load due to negligence by a truck company may cause a fatal 18-wheeler accident.
Truck driver fatigue or the irresponsible actions of a drunk truck driver can cause a head-on collision or other kind of truck accident, but an overloaded semi can amplify the danger even for responsible, rested and attentive operators. Even without a crash, the costs of maintaining a truck that is consistently overloaded or unbalanced are far higher than those loaded and operated properly. Surveys regarding fleet maintenance often name overloading as the top reason for unscheduled truck maintenance that costs money and time not spent on the road.
Additionally, allowing employees to overload trucks can expose operators and truck companies to direct liability issues such as negligent hiring, negligent supervision or retention, or negligent entrustment. This may be in addition to indirect issues like respondeat superior or vicarious liability. These legal problems and others like them are avoidable through correct and responsible loading of trucks, which helps ensure that vehicles run better and require less maintenance while protecting drivers and protecting property.
Violations of federal trucking regulations can lead to motorists suffering property damage or loss, injuries or death. Individuals who have been affected by a commercial truck accident may want the advice of an attorney known for litigating insurance claims and lawsuits after a truck crash.