Semi-trucks account for some of the largest vehicles on the road at any given time. They’re heavier, longer, and wider than passenger vehicles. In an attempt to prevent catastrophic accidents with these types of vehicles, there are a variety of regulations and law established at the state and federal level; however, that does not mean truckers and trucking companies always abide by them.
When a tractor-trailer is overloaded, it significantly increases the chance of a variety of risks that can lead to the severe injury or death of innocent motorists. As a driver, it’s important to recognize the risks an overloaded semi poses, so you can remain vigilant on the road.
Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Restrictions
In order to keep roadways safe and reduce the change of overloading, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet limits commercial vehicles to the following legal dimensions:
- No wider than eight feet on non-designated highways
- No wider than eight feet, six inches on interstates, parkways, designated highways
- No longer than 65 feet, including the truck, trailer, and load, on non-designated highways
- Maximum trailer length of 53 feet on interstates, parkways, and designated highways
- Maximum weight limit of 80,000 pounds
If these legal dimensions are disregarded, serious citations and fines can be pressed.
The Risks of Overloading a Semi
Tire Failure. Excessive weight, especially over a long period of time, can increase the chance for tire wear or failure. In the event a tractor trailer’s tire blows out, the driver may lose control of the truck entirely or rollover. Both possibilities pose serious dangers for other drivers.
Roadway Damage. Weight limitations are established for a reason. The heavier a truck is, the more damage it can cause to a road – like potholes or weakened bridges.
Limited Control. The heavier or longer a semi is, the harder it is for the driver to control. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it already takes a semi 20 to 40 percent longer to come to a complete stop, when compared to passenger vehicles. Imagine how difficult it would be to try to turn or stop an overloaded semi.
An auto accident involving a semi can be extremely traumatic. If you or a loved one have been hurt or injured in a truck accident, the negligent party deserves to be held accountable. Our Lexington semi-truck accident lawyers are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your claim.