How Truck Weigh Stations Prevent Accidents

Commercial trucks often weigh tens of thousands of pounds. In fact, some larger commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. However, there are weight limits for these vehicles, and state and federal regulators take these limits seriously. Vehicles that drive on the Interstate often come across weigh stations, which are portable scales along the roadside that weigh the load to ensure it falls within the proper parameters. Here, we want to discuss how these weigh stations help prevent severe accidents on the roadway.

How Much Can Commercial Trucks Weigh?

Commercial trucks all have limits on how much they can weigh on the highway. These limits are set forth by the Federal Highway Administration and typically top out at 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo.

Trucks that drive on the Interstate will typically come across weigh stations that are regulated by state officials. These way stations can be either stationary or portable scales along the side of the road and are designed to measure the truck’s load at any time when they are hauling freight.

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Ensuring Roadway Integrity

There are various ways that these weigh stations keep drivers safe and prevent accidents on the roadway. Every state has Interstate trucking regulations that impose limitations in order to preserve road network reliability, which includes checking the truck weight. Trucks that are heavier than allowable on certain roads that they are traveling on increase the damage to that roadway, resulting in increased transportation and maintenance costs.

There are several factors that can influence weight limits for a particular area, including the weaker structural sections along a particular highway or Interstate. The most vulnerable of these sections typically include overpasses or bridges. Even though a road itself may be able to handle significantly more weight than the regulations specify, if there is just one bridge or overpass on that roadway that lowers the structural integrity, the weight limit for these trucks will also need to be lowered for that section.

Checking Proper Truck Loading For Vehicle Safety

Aside from roadway integrity, vehicle safety is of paramount importance for trucks. The more weight you put onto a commercial truck, the less safe it becomes to drive. Overloaded vehicles significantly threaten the safety of all drivers on the roadway, and they can contribute to accidents that lead to property damage and injuries. Overloaded trucks are particularly dangerous when it comes to going downhill or around curves. Overloaded vehicles cannot be maneuvered quickly and need more room to stop.

Additionally, if the weight is not dispersed well throughout the bed of the truck, for instance, the cargo being too close to the front or back, this can affect the performance of the truck and the ability of the driver to maintain control of the vehicle. That is why cargo trucks are required by law to maintain their load within specific capacities inside the truck.

Working With a Santa Ana Truck Accident Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, one piece of evidence that will be examined is the weight of the vehicle. A Santa Ana truck accident attorney will work to obtain records of truck weigh-ins and see if this lines up with truck driver records, the car that was supposed to be on the vehicle, and state and federal regulations. The team of attorneys at Callahan & Blaine have handled truck accident cases across Orange County and have successfully recovered compensation for injured victims. 

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