The Danger of Wide Loads
Some types of wide-load trucks are required to have an escort to safeguard other drivers. But, while wide loads have special requirements in Virginia, the rules don’t always prevent accidents involving wide loads.
State and federal regulations state that trucks carrying a load that’s wider than 8.5 feet are subject to special regulations.
A special permit is required and markings warning other road users of the width of the load, must be used so as they can take extra precautions when passing.
State such as Virginia will only allow trucks with extra wide loads to drive on the roads during the daytime – from a half-hour before sunrise, to a half-hour after sunset. Travel at night is normally restricted for any load wider than 8.5 feet.
As a Norfolk, VA trucking accident injury lawyer I can certainly see the wisdom behind these rules. It can be hard enough to pass a wide load when it’s light, let along in the dark,
When a load is extremely wide, the state may require one or more “escort” cars to accompany it, in the hope the load will be kept away from other traffic and accidents will be avoided. Some carriers seek to avoid the additional cost of an escort by ignoring this requirement.
Wide loads are often mobile homes, construction equipment or heavy machinery.
The fact they can be so heavy means those unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with them may face death or serious injury.
All of these loads are also extraordinarily heavy. In fact, a fully loaded tractor-trailer carrying farm or other machinery can easily weigh more than 300,000 pounds. When a tractor-trailer is this heavy it can take a long time to stop. The weight can also put considerable pressure on the braking system, leading to failures.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a wide load or in any other accident involving a tractor-trailer, call our Norfolk trucking accident injury lawyers for a free consultation.
Our injury lawyers have secured a number of large settlements for those hurt or the survivors of those who have been killed in trucking accidents, in recent years, including a $5 million settlement for a woman who was injured by a construction truck and a $3.5 million result for the family of a man who was killed after he was rear-ended by a big rig.
The Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Hampton, VA truck accident injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as other cases such as slip and fall cases, wrongful death and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have over 40 years of combined experience in handling truck injury accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010.