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Oversized Truck Loads can Increase Transportation Dangers on Georgia Roadways

This week, three over-sized loads will be trucked through the middle of Georgia, arriving at the General Electric Company Roper plant in La Fayette, Georgia. The trucks will carry machine press parts.

The first load is expected to weigh 586,000 pounds and the second and third loads are estimated to weigh nearly 375,000 pounds and 752,000 pounds respectively.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the first load is expected to leave Savannah, Georgia at 9 p.m. on Monday. The truck and escort vehicles will make a stop in Forsyth, Georgia on Tuesday. The journey will continue that evening. The second and third loads will leave Savannah, Georgia on Tuesday evening and follow a similar route, a day behind.

WHAT IS AN OVER-SIZED LOAD?

An over-sized load is one that exceeds the normal legal limits established for the size and weight that may be carried on a truck on a specific road or highway. Generally, loads that are wider than 8 feet 6 inches are considered over-sized. Trucks traveling on the Interstate Highway system are subject to Department of Transportation height and weight limits. In addition, each State has its own height and length limits for what is considered over-sized. In order for an over-sized load to be permitted on the road, the driver must secure a permit authorizing the transport.

DANGERS OF OVER-SIZED LOADS.

Over-sized loads can threaten the safety of other drivers who share roadways with them. They may also cause more serious damage to property.

One of the reasons that larger truck loads pose more danger is because drivers of these vehicles have less time to react. The stopping distance that is required for trucks carrying over-sized loads is much longer. For every 20,000 pounds of extra cargo that a truck carries over 80,000 pounds, the stopping distance required increases by 25 percent. For instance, if it takes an 80,000 pound truck 300 feet to come to a complete stop, it would take a 120,000 pound truck 450 feet to stop. This is equivalent to one and a half football fields.

In addition, over-sized loads have a lower clearance. Therefore, over-sized loads which veer off designated routes or miscalculated clearances can cause serious damage to transportation structures.

Finally, accidents involving over-sized loads are more likely to be fatal. For example, a tuck weighing 80,000 pounds is twice as likely to result in a fatality as a truck weighing 65,000 pounds.

TRUCKING ATTORNEYS CAN HELP

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a truck carrying an over-sized load, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help you preserve your legal rights. This is because an attorney can review the facts of your case to determine whether the truck driver, trucking company, or the truck manufacturer acted negligently to cause your accident. If this is the case, an attorney can pursue legal action necessary to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries and loss.