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tractor trailer crash seattle

Overloaded Trucks in Washington Increase the Risk of Accidents

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on August 9, 2011

Large trucks can cause much more damage in an accident than a passenger car due to their size, weight, and the added amount of time and space they need to slow down. When a truck is carrying too much weight, these risks increase substantially. Both the federal government and Washington’s state government have passed laws that affect how much weight a tractor-trailer may carry. Carrying weight over this limit is prohibited and increases the risk of injury to truck drivers and those who share the roads with them.

Currently, federal law prohibits most semi trucks from weighing more than 80,000 pounds. This weight includes not only the truck’s cargo, but also the weight of the truck itself and the fuel it’s carrying. Washington law sets weight limits for the state’s roads and bridges, which are typically calculated as a maximum load per axle. The per-axle method was chosen based on evidence that the weight of a load needs to be distributed among enough axles to prevent structural damage to the truck, which can cause serious accidents. Weight limits are also set in order to minimize damage to bridges and roads, so that overloaded truck accidents in Washington caused by potholes and bridge damage are reduced, along with repair costs. Read the rest »

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