In 1972, the State of Georgia adopted the federal regulations that govern commercial vehicles weighing 10,001 pounds or more. These vehicles are required to stop for inspection at all open weigh stations along their Georgia route.
Why does the weight of a truck matter? Overweight trucks have a higher center of gravity that makes the truck more difficult to stop and more likely to rollover. Overweight trucks also put a lot of pressure on their tires, increasing the risk of a tire blowout. If a blowout does occur, the extra weight can make it difficult for driver to stay in control of his vehicle. Overweight trucks are more likely to cause a trucking accident and more likely to damage roads and bridges.
Since overloading a truck is against the law, one would think that there would be few overweight trucks. The reality is that overweight trucks are a significant threat to public safety. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as many as 30 percent of commercial trucks are overweight. Why are so many truck drivers ignoring the law?
Suppose a driver pulls into a Georgia weigh station. His truck weighs 90,000 pounds. What happens? The driver is fined. The overage rate was set in 1953. It is five cents per pound. Our imaginary truck driver would pay $500. For a truck company, this is small change compared to the price of using extra trucks. Trucking companies and truck drivers simply consider the fines part of the cost of doing business. Once the driver is fined, he is allowed to go on his way.
Until the laws are changed, overweight trucks will continue to cause accidents on Georgia highways. Drivers will do as their companies ask and trucking companies will still overload trucks to maximize their profits. For trucking companies, the bottom line comes first.
If you are injured in an accident with an overweight truck, the trucking company will do everything it can to avoid paying you a fair settlement. You don’t deserve to be penalized for the trucking company’s willful mistake. You need experienced help. Contact the Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Kaufman Law, P.C. today. Ask to schedule a free case evaluation.