The trucking industry keeps the American economy moving. Trucks carry goods from warehouses to grocery stores and everywhere in between. Though this is a vital service, they must be as safe as possible out on Florida’s roads.
Regulations on weight limits help ensure safety on the road. Yet, drivers and trucking companies do not always adhere to these laws. The bigger the load, the higher the possible profit. But overloading a rig is risky for many reasons.
An overloaded vehicle needs a greater distance to brake. This is especially true in wet weather. A driver who is not considering the extra weight may follow another vehicle too closely. This puts other drivers at high risk. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 72% of people who died in truck-related accidents in 2017 were the occupants of another vehicle.
More weight can also alter the vehicle’s center of gravity, which makes it difficult to control. High crosswinds and sharp corners are especially dangerous. A driver is less able to safely handle the truck, leading to an increased risk of rollovers.
Most major roadways have weigh stations at intervals. These mandatory check-ins reduce the number of overloaded vehicles and penalize those who do not follow the law. Title 23 of the Florida Statutes details the penalties for an overloaded truck. If a truck is more than 6,000 pounds over the appropriate limit for that vehicle, the driver or company incurs a fine and must unload the excess weight. If the driver or company ignores the law, they may be liable if an accident occurs.