The people of New York know how important truckers are to the community. Without trucks crisscrossing the state, vital supplies would be unable to reach those who need them. However, large vehicles on the road do increase the risk of accidents for other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 70% of people killed in accidents involving trucks in 2017 were the occupants of another vehicle.
The law holds trucks to strict weight limitations to keep other motorists as safe as possible. But not every trucker or shipping company takes these regulations seriously. A bigger load equals a higher potential profit. Some are willing to take the chance, even though they risk fines and other penalties, and put lives in jeopardy.
An overloaded truck is hazardous for many reasons. Drivers of overloaded trucks may not realize they will need a greater distance to brake. If a driver follows another car too closely, especially in wet weather, he or she may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Increased weight also changes the truck’s center of gravity, making it harder to control. Sharp corners and high winds increase the risk of rollovers for an overloaded truck.
But there is good news. An NHTSA press release reports that 2018 saw only a 0.9% increase in large truck-related fatalities. While an increase is never good, it does make sense. Every year, the number of trucks on the road goes up. As such, it is more important than ever that truckers and companies adhere to these necessary safety limitations.