How does operating overweight semi-trucks on the highway result in causing dangerous and deadly accidents on the nation’s highways?

When a commercial truck is built the manufacturer assigns a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and it is noted on the truck’s identification plate. The GVWR is determined by rating axle, frame, suspension, rating, and powertrain. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) have established the following mandated weights that cannot be exceed without a special State permit:

  • 80,000-pound gross weight;
  • 20,000-pound single axle weight;
  • 34,000-pound tandem axle weight.

The FMCSRs have also established a maximum width limit of 102 inches. While the FMCSRs do not establish a maximum height most States have established a maximum height for commercial motor vehicles and the cargo of approximately 13.6-14.0 feet.

Trucking companies will often times overload their semi-trucks to maximize profits because they will be able to charge more money for the additional freight that they transport. If a trucking company operates a very large number of semi-trucks this can result in millions of dollars of extra money a year in freight that they can earn by violating the FMCSRs. The problem is though that an overweight truck has a much greater chance of a causing an accident than a semi-truck that has not exceeded the legal weight limit. When a semi-truck is overweight or overloaded the truck’s performance will suffer. The semi-truck will go down an incline at a much faster speed and will take much additional braking force to stop in time. For example, an 80,000-pound truck will take 525 feet to come to a stop when traveling at a speed of 65 mph. An oversized 100,000-pound truck will take 25% longer to stop and a truck weighing more than 120,000 pounds will take 50% longer to come to a stop. It will take even much longer for the trail tractor to stop if the brakes are not functioning properly. Brakes on semi-trucks are complex with many different parts. When all of these parts are not regularly managed and maintained there is a possibility the brakes will fail and cause serious accident. The most common causes of brake failure are:

  • Tires;
  • Faulty brake components;
  • Overheating;
  • Out of adjustment;
  • Condensation.

Tire blowouts are not more likely to occur causing an accident because tires run hotter due to the increased load. Loads that are overweight are less likely to be secure which can lead to items becoming dislodged and falling off during transit. An overweight load with additional cargo is also more susceptible to causing a rollover accident.

Semi-truck operators are expected to regularly use the weigh stations to insure that their loads are not overweight and they are complying with the other FMSCRs. However, semi-truck operators while often travel routes specifically intended to avoid the weigh stations or when they are in fact determined to be overweight they will not lighten their load as required by the Department of Transportation.

Brad Pistotnik Law has the experience to help you or a loved one that has been injured or killed in a commercial vehicle accident as a result of a:

  • Overweight Semi-trucks;
  • Faulty Brakes;
  • Unbalanced loads;
  • Uncoupled and jackknifed trailers;
  • Loose Trailers;
  • Hazardous Materials;
  • Cab and trailer maintenance violations;
  • Unsafe emergency stops;
  • Inoperable trailer lights and safety equipment.

Brad can be reached by calling Brad Pistotnik Law at 800-241-BRAD or call our local number at 316-684-4400. He can also be reached by calling on his cell phone at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony at 316-617-9237. Our attorneys answer the phone 24 hours a day. Our attorneys answer phone calls on Saturdays and Sundays and at nighttime. We work on holidays. If we do not answer, we will return the call as fast as humanly possible. We strive to be at your service 24 hours a day. We have nighttime and weekend appointments on Saturday and Sunday.

Our attorneys handle personal injury car accident cases in the entire State of Kansas, the entire State of Oklahoma, the entire State of Missouri, the entire State of Nebraska and the entire State of Illinois and our attorneys are licensed in each of these states. We also handle cases by Pro Hac Vice admission in every other State of the US. If your loved one was killed in tractor-trailer accident, car accident, motorcycle accident you need a law firm that can handle the most complicated cases anywhere across the United States. If you need us to come meet with you and your family, we will come to you. No matter where you are in the State of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois we will come see you.

We are located at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita, Kansas, KS 67206. Brad opened his first law firm in 1983 and was known as Bradley A. Pistotnik, P.A. and generically known as Pistotnik Law or Pistotnik Law Offices. In 2014, Brad moved to a new office renaming the firm, Brad Pistotnik Law, P.A. so that he could concentrate on the area of law that he knows best; tractor-trailer litigation and other serious injury claims. Tony Atterbury believed in Brad’s cause and left his old frim to join Brad in 2014. We are the Bull attorneys’ TM. We are Abogado El Toro®. Hire the real Brad®. Call in the Bull®. Call us at 1800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. In Western Kansas, you can hire us by calling 620-THE-BULL.

Our office is located 3 blocks east of Webb Road on N. 21st St. on the northeast side of Wichita, Kansas. The Bull attorneys work all over the Midwest. We work on the East Coast and the West Coast. The Bull attorneys have worked in New Mexico and in Virginia. The Bull attorneys handle many cases in Eastern Kansas, Southwest Kansas, Central Kansas and Northwest Kansas. The Bull attorneys take cases in Dodge City, Cheney, Garden City, Liberal, Ulysses, Satanta, Goodland, Salina, Emporia, Coffeyville, Newton, McPherson, Hutchinson, Hays, Colby, Kansas City, Pittsburg, Winfield, Wellington, Fredonia, and then we handle cases in Kearney, Nebraska. We handle cases in Lincoln, Nebraska and Omaha, Nebraska. We handle cases and Kansas City Missouri. The Bull attorneys handle cases in Springfield, Missouri. You need lawyers that are concentrating their practice in all types of wrongful death claims including complicated semi-tractor trailer and motor vehicle accidents. The Bull attorneys handle cases in Chicago, Illinois. The Bull attorneys handle cases in Decatur, Illinois. The Bull attorneys handle cases in Springfield, Illinois. We travel to you the same day and can reach as far as New York or LA or Miami in three to four hours. The Bull attorneys handle cases in St. Louis, Missouri. The Bull attorneys handle cases in Tulsa, Enid, Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Panhandle area and just about every other town in Oklahoma. The Bull attorneys handle cases cross the State of Missouri. Brad and Tony work as hard as humanly possible and we work seven days a week and we always answer our cell phones even on the weekends, at night and on holidays. We want to be your lawyers, attorneys and abogados. Call now for your free consultation. We never discriminate and handle cases for all races, colors, creeds, religions and genders and we have Hispanic translators that can help translate. Call El Toro. Call in the Bull! ® We can be reached at 620-THE-BULL. ™ We want to be your lawyer, attorney and abogado for your personal injury lawyers, attorneys and abogados.

Bradley A. Pistotnik, © 2017