One of the reasons why trucks are so dangerous and contribute to so many Florida car accidents each year is the sheer weight of the vehicles. The large size and weight of commercial trucks such as tractor trailers or semi trucks makes these vehicles unwieldy and slow to respond on the road. In the case of an accident, even small mistakes can lead to serious injuries. As well, drivers of these vehicles are often limited in their ability to drive defensively; since commercial trucks respond far more slowly than passenger vehicles, it is harder to avoid an accident.
Congress passed laws in 1973 to make trucks safer and to reduce the risks of truck accidents. One of the laws restricted the size and weight of loads. For travel in between states, load weights were limited to 40 tons (80 000 pounds). However, overweight permits and oversize permits are available to permit larger trucks on the road in certain circumstances. As well, the weight limits for steer axles are 12 000 pounds while the limits of dual axles are 34 000 pounds and the limit on single axles is 20 000 pounds.
There are federal limits which limit the size as well as the weight of trucks. On all federal highways, trucks can tow 2 trailers of 28 feet or one trailer of 48-feet. Trucks must be no wider than 102 inches on these roads.
States have their own rules and limits on truck weights, as well. Some states, for example, impose seasonal weight limits. Michigan is one such state. Other states allow some oversize trucks or overweight loads, as long as truck carriers meet specific safety requirements.
The reason for these federal and state weight limits is simple. The heavier a truck is, the greater a danger it is on the road. This is because in a truck accident a heavier truck creates a greater impact upon collision and is therefore more likely to cause serious damage and possible fatalities. As well, heavier trucks are more likely to rollover and are more difficult to manage, making it more likely that even an experienced truck driver will be in an accident. Finally, heavier trucks cause more wear on tires and brakes, making it more likely that these systems will fail prematurely.
To enforce federal and state weight limits, there are weight stations in every state. Trucks are supposed to automatically stop at these stations when the stations are open to allow authorities to check for weight violations. Unfortunately, some trucks continue to flout the rules and avoid the weight stations, creating unnecessary danger on the roads.
If you have been in a truck accident in South Florida, call the experienced and caring legal team at the Flaxman Law Group. With offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group can easily reach out to personal injury patients across South Florida. Call today to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case.