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Why are Trucks Subject to Weight Limits?

When a tractor trailer appears in your rear view mirror, do you automatically shift lanes to get out of their way? If so, then you’re not alone. The fear of getting into an accident with one of these massive vehicles is well-founded, as the sheer weight and size of them makes it far more likely that an accident will result in a fatality. Consumers looking for a safe car frequently look for a vehicle with more weight, assuming that the heavier their vehicle, the more protection it provides to the passengers within – in fact, it’s been determined that when a vehicle weighs 1,000 pounds more than the vehicle it is striking, there is a 47% increase in the likelihood of a fatality occurring. That calculation is based upon the difference in weight in passenger cars – you don’t have to think hard to realize that the enormous difference in weight between a car and a tractor trailer would make a collision between the two even more deadly.  That is just one of the reasons why commercial trucks are subject to weight limits. All of the reasons are related to safety.

Though most people think that the reason for imposing weight limits on trucks is for the protection of passengers in a collision. The truth is that the original reason behind truck weight limits was to protect the surface of roadways. The heavier a truck is and the more weight is put on to individual axles, the more risk there is that the roadway surface will be damaged. Not only do damaged roads and bridges lead to increased expenses, but they also make roads more dangerous for drivers as they can fill with rainwater and ice and form potholes that can lead to accidents and vehicle damage.

To get an idea of how truck weight limits work, let’s look at the Connecticut state requirements. Connecticut imposes limits on the length, the width, and the height of a commercial truck as well as its weight, but weight is specifically calculated based upon how many axles the vehicle has because they are what provides support for the truck’s load. The calculations include factors such as the number of axles as well as the distance between them. It also takes into account the type of tires that the truck is equipped with.

Trucks that are over the calculated weight limits can be charged penalties under Connecticut law. Though these are usually monetary fines, if a truck has been in an accident and is determined to have been overweight then the driver or trucking company can also be charged with negligence. If you or someone that you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is important that you work with an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to ask probing questions about whether a truck was in compliance with all of the state weight restrictions. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we work hard to make sure we explore every aspect of your case so that you can get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.

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