The danger of trucks carrying excessively heavy loads is well-known. In fact, federal and state regulations limit how much cargo a truck can carry and which roads overweighed trucks can use. Overloaded trucks have a higher risk of rollovers, brake failure, and other dangers.
The pressure of excessive heavy cargo can put extra strain on brakes and tires, potentially leading to tire blowouts and brake failure. Heavy cargo can also cause more damage to roads, possibly contributing to secondary accidents caused by poor roads. Heavy trailers can also make a truck harder to control, which can potentially lead to crashes. In addition, drivers with heavy trailers need to ensure their cargo is correctly secured so it does not shift during transport and cause a collision.
However, overloaded trucks are not the only ones causing accidents in Homestead and across South Florida. Research by the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre found that truck drivers who had recently dropped off their freight and were driving with an empty truck had a 2.5 times greater chance of being in a crash when compared with truck drivers carrying cargo.
According to researchers, empty trucks pose a number of issues. The increase in collisions after a truck driver had dropped freight off may be because:
- An empty trailer may sway without cargo to weight it down. The trailer can swing in unexpected ways, making it harder for the driver to control the vehicle.
- If a truck driver is used to carrying cargo, they may need to adjust to an empty vehicle.
- Truck drivers who had dropped off their fright may have been driving for a while, meaning fatigue may be an issue in some of these accidents.
- Wind may affect empty cargo trucks more. On bridges and empty roads, especially, wind can more easily affect an empty trailer. Because of its higher center of gravity, an empty trailer may be more prone to rollovers and may be harder for the truck driver to control.
Much has been written about the dangers of overweight cargo, but this research suggests larger trucks and incorrectly secured freight may not be the only dangers on the roads. More research needs to be done, but it is possible some solutions may need to be found to reduce the risk of collisions involving trucks with no cargo.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Homestead or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Flaxman Law Group is pleased to have more than 60 years of combined experience. Our staff is always standing by and the doors of our office in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami are always open to those who have been injured through no cause of their own. We would be happy to offer you a free, no obligation, confidential consultation so you can get answers about your crash and your rights.