Truck accidents have many causes and often a combination of factors. Appearances can be deceiving when the real underlying cause of the accident is hidden. Such is the case with poorly balanced loads. Even when a truck is not overloaded, unbalanced loads are a very real hazard and an unbalanced load is just one way improper loading can lead to an accident. Determining and proving that a truck accident was caused by a poorly balanced load requires thorough investigation by experienced Austin truck accident attorneys such as the lawyers at Shaw Cowart, LLC, based in Austin, TX.
How Poorly Balanced Loads Cause Accidents
When you load your car with groceries, you probably don’t think too much about weight distribution, and you’ve probably never noticed the difference, but a fully loaded semi can carry 400 tons. Depending on the type of truck, it may be carrying even more. An unbalanced load can affect handling, at the very least, and can even cause the tractor trailer to tip over. In other cases, it can put so much strain on truck parts that they fail.
An unbalanced load, of any type, can cause extra movement on bumpy roads, making the truck more difficult to control and putting extra strain on truck parts. This can cause the frame to bend, suspension failure, tire failure or failure of axle housings or wheel bearings.
Too much weight in the rear of the trailer can lift weight off of the front tires, making steering very difficult, much like driving on ice. Weight that is too far forward, can make the brakes too touchy, causing what’s referred to as “trailer swing” in which the trailer swings out to the side into other lanes.
Too much weight on one side of the truck causes other problems. On corners, too much weight on the side of the truck that is on the outside of the curve, can increase the effect of centrifugal force, causing the truck to roll over. On hills and slippery surfaces, where traction is needed, the tires on the heavy side will have more traction and the tires on the light side will lack traction, possibly to the point of spinning or causing the truck to “jackknife”. This type of poorly balanced load can also affect braking, causing the brakes on one side of the truck to lock up.
If you have been injured in a collision involving a large truck, you need the help of Austin accident attorneys like those here at Shaw Cowart, LLP. Please call us at 512-499-8900 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.