You are driving down an incline. In your rearview mirror, you see that a big rig is barreling down the hill behind you. You feel the first jolt of fear. There is a traffic light at the bottom of the hill and the truck is coming closer as you begin to slow.
Why is this happening? Will the driver be able to stop or are you about to become an accident victim?
Causes of truck-related accidents
The drivers of commercial trucks are usually conscientious and mindful of their huge vehicles that are more powerful–and deadly–than your passenger car. If a truck-related accident happens, however, a number of things could cause it, such as brake or equipment failure, distracted driving or overloaded, off-balance cargo.
Going against regulations
Overloading a truck is a violation of various state and federal regulations, but trucking companies may ignore the rules when there is serious profit involved. Companies that comply with the regulations will train their drivers on the correct loading techniques in order to keep a truck from tipping, drifting into other vehicles, or causing rear-end collisions or other types of truck-car accidents.
Expenses and exposure
In addition to being a safety hazard to you and other motorists, a truck that is overloaded is expensive to operate because it causes considerable stress to component parts, which can wear out sooner than they should and require replacement. An overloaded truck also becomes a risk management problem and creates liability exposure for the trucking company.
An accident on the move
Various thoughts run through your mind as the truck behind you continues to close the gap. You wonder if the driver is drunk, or distracted by using his phone, reading an email, sending a text message. These things could all be factors, but if the truck’s cargo is overloaded, this will increase the braking distance and cause the driver to underestimate how long it will take to stop the eighteen-wheeler. Do not trust to luck, take whatever evasive action you can to avoid a catastrophic crash with injuries to match.