Driving around large semi-trucks can be nerve-racking, especially when the truck is carrying an oversized load. As a Texas personal injury attorney, I know that these fears are warranted. Oversized tractor trailers can cause devastating wrecks an injuries if not properly managed.
I've handled a number of collisions caused by oversized trucks in the past, including one including one where a truck hit a power line causing an innocent victim to be electrocuted, and another where a truck hit the top of the bridge causing debris to fall across the roadway in the path of another driver.
Such accidents are the result of negligence and, sadly, stupidity. The truck driver and their employer should be held responsible for the damage they cause.
The Legality of Oversized Trucks
An “oversize truck” refers to all semi-trucks that are longer, wider or taller than normal (65 feet long, 14 feet tall). Common examples include trucks carrying large pipes, machinery or concrete construction parts. Given the presence of Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, it is not uncommon to see oversize trucks carrying airplane parts in the DFW area.
In 2011, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles issued an estimated 700,000 permits for oversized and overweight trucks. As defined by law, an oversized/overweight truck is a truck taller than 14 feet, longer than 65 feet, wider than 102 feet or heavier than 80,000 pounds. Routine oversized shipping permits allow vehicles as long as 125 feet, as wide as 15 feet, and as heavy as 2,000,000 lbs.
The height restrictions for oversize loads is up to 18 feet 11 inches tall - anything taller than that would require a pre-trip route survey in order to determine that a route is safe and passable.
Most bridges and other obstacles are clearly marked to warn drivers how high they are. Power lines shouldn't be lower than 22 feet high, and trucks must allow for a six foot gap when passing under them.
Making a Claim Against a Negligent Shipping Company
If you've been hurt in an accident involving an oversized truck and you believe laws were broken or general negligence was displayed, don't hesitate to give me a call. We'll discuss your situation and talk about your legal options.
To speak with an experienced attorney immediately, please call the Anderson Law Firm toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally at 817-294-1900.
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