In addition to federal trucking regulations, Illinois truckers are bound by state laws. Trucking regulations are put in place to protect both the driver and other individuals on the road. Unfortunately, many truck accidents are the result of truckers’ and/or trucking companies’ blatant disregard for the rules and safety of others. One law that is routinely broken is that regarding weight. In this post, we’ll discuss Illinois truck weight laws and what they could mean for your truck accident case.

Illinois Truck Weight Laws

Illinois has a strict formula in place that helps truckers and trucking companies determine the maximum allowable weight per haul. The formula takes into consideration the space between axles and the number of axles in question to come up with a safe weight. Each axle can support 20,000 pounds. However, because the truck itself is approximately 20,000 pounds, the first axle is dedicated solely to supporting the tractor portion of the rig. From there, weight limits are capped at however many additional axles the truck has. For instance, if the truck has three axles, a trucker can haul up to 40,000 pounds in cargo at most.

The weight laws differ for tandem axles and is based on the length between them. Generally speaking, however, tandem axles can haul up to 32,000 pounds safely. No matter how many axles or tandem axles a truck has, it cannot carry more than 80,000 pounds worth of cargo. 80,000 pounds is both the federal and state limit for allowable weight.

Consequences Of Exceeding Maximum Allowable Weight

In the best-case scenario, a trucker carrying more than the allowable weight gets stopped and fined for his or her indiscretion. However, in the worst-case scenario, the truck is involved in an accident and causes excessive damage. If you are the victim of the latter scenario, you may have a solid truck accident claim on your hands.

Though no amount of money can undo the harm done to you, it can help make the recovery process easier. And though the trucker’s weight violation is likely what caused your accident in the first place, it may be the very thing that seals his or her fate. In addition to being negligent, overloading a truck is known to have adverse consequences, including but not limited to the following:

  • Loss of control of the rig
  • Inability to brake in a timely fashion
  • Inability to successfully maneuver common but tricky situations (such as abrupt lane changes)
  • Difficulty maneuvering the truck under other normal driving conditions due to overload on suspension systems and improper distribution of weight and balance
  • Additional force resulting from an impact

If it can be proved that the trucker violated federal and/or state truck weight laws, you may be able to successfully recover the full extent of your damages and then some.

Contact Dwyer & Coogan, P.C. for Help

Truck accidents can be physically and financially devastating for accident victims. Our team at Dwyer & Coogan, P.C. is committed to helping victims and their families fight for the compensation they need to get back on their feet.

No matter how open and shut your case may seem, you can benefit from the skill, knowledge, and experience of an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney. When you hire us, we will employ our team of investigators and other resources to prove fault and build a case that demonstrates why you deserve the maximum compensation. To discuss your options and how we can help protect your rights, contact us today for a free initial consultation.