Oversized Load Truck Accident Lawyers in Kentucky
Trucks with oversized loads pose a threat to others on the road because of their size and how difficult they are to drive safely. Many things can go wrong and cause an accident. It’s best to stay away from these vehicles as best you can.
What is an Oversized Load?
An oversized load could be steel beams used on a bridge, wind turbines, drilling rig parts, or manufactured housing.
There are oversized and overweight loads. They go beyond the dimensions accepted by a state, while an overweight load is heavier than the standard weight. Kentucky’s accepted truck weight and sizes can be found here. Municipalities can have restrictions on local roads. The federal government also imposes rules on hauling oversized loads.
Interstate and other major highways generally have 12-foot-wide travel lanes. The maximum legal vehicle width is 8.5 feet in every state. If a load is bigger than that, it’s an oversized load. A load that’s extra long or high is also oversized.
Special permits are required to move this cargo legally, and specific safety procedures must be followed. There may be escort vehicles, special lighting, and flags to make the trip safer for all involved.
Why is Hauling an Oversized Load Dangerous?
Oversized loads are hazardous to other road traffic and structures along the route, such as bridges and overpasses. Oversized loads often impede traffic and block lanes. There may be secondary accidents caused when traffic backs up or drivers try to pass trucks carrying oversized loads.
When hauling an excessively wide, long, tall, or heavy load, there are risks that drivers must consider to avoid an accident, according to Equipment and Contracting. This includes:
- The load’s weight may deflate tires, causing a blowout and loss of control
- The truck is more likely to roll over, especially at higher speeds and making turns
- The load’s weight and extreme dimensions mean it has a momentum all its own, which may be difficult for the truck and driver to control. The momentum may carry the load and truck in one direction, while the driver wants it to go in a different direction or stop
- If the load places additional weight on the rear axle and reduces road contact by the front axle, it makes the truck harder to steer
- If the cargo is on a flatbed and secured improperly, it may fall off the back, roll off the side, or slide forward into the cab
The publication gives two examples of accidents that may happen when trucks haul oversized loads:
- A driver carrying equipment on a flatbed doesn’t notice low overpass warning signs
- If the over-height equipment strikes the overpass, it may fall off the trailer
- It may land on a vehicle following it, or the vehicle may strike it after it lands on the roadway
- Whether the load hits the overpass or the driver stops in time, accidents may occur as traffic backs up behind the truck
Oversized loads that are not adequately secured may cause serious accidents resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- The load may load spill off the trailer’s side, landing on a vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist
- The truck may jackknife or rollover due to a sudden stop
- If the load shifts forward, it could crush the cab, injuring or killing the driver, so no one will be in control of the truck and its massive load
The article states, “For these reasons, oversize and overweight trucks are a leading cause of truck accidents in the United States.”
Speak To an Oversize Load Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member is injured because of a truck hauling an oversize load in Kentucky, our law firm can and will help you handle legal matters with confidence. Put boots on the ground with help from Satterley & Kelley PLLC.
To schedule a free initial consultation at our Louisville, KY law office, call 502-589-5600 (toll-free at 855-385-9532) or complete our contact form today.
Learn more on our truck accident page about how we can help.