Overloaded Trucks or Trailers
Overloading trucks or trailers puts additional strain on the
vehicle, particularly the brakes and tires. Towing a trailer with a
weight heavier than the towing vehicle will lead to loss of control,
especially down hills. Loss of control can lead to a fatal accident.
The stopping distance drastically increases with additional weight. The
truck drier may misjudge the stopping distance of an overloaded truck
or trailer causing an accident.
The chances of a big truck crash resulting in death and
serious injuries increase with each extra ton of weight over the 80,000
lbs. GVW limit in federal law. A big truck weighing even a legal 80,000
lbs. GVW is more then twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash
as a truck weighing about 50,000 lbs. GVW. (University of Michigan
Transportation Research Institute, 1988).
trucks, particularly 100,000 lbs. GVW trucks, dramatically underpay
their fair share of taxes and user fees for the repair of U.S. roads
and bridges. By damaging roads, large trucks further degrade highway
safety. (U.S. DOT, 1997 and 2000).
Pavement damage is
caused almost entirely by heavy trucks, not by passenger cars. One
legal 80,000 lbs. GVW tractor-trailer truck does as much damage to road
pavement as 9,600 cars. (Highway Research Board, NAS, 1962).
Several studies over more than 20 years, including a recent white
papers by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research
Institute (UMTRI) found that increasing the weights of trucks,
especially in the existing configurations, increased their crash rates,
including fatal crash rates.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Comprehensive Truck Size and
Weight Study, issued in 2000, pointed out that the use of certain
combination trucks at higher weights could increase fatal crash