Legal Options if Injured by Oversized Truck in Ohio
When trucking companies need to haul very large materials that exceed normal operations, special considerations and precautions need to be made. If these are not followed, serious accidents can result. If you’re hurt by a truck carrying an oversized or wide load, call an experienced Ohio truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Oversized Vehicles & Wide Loads
Despite there being strict rules regarding the size and weight of trucks and their cargo, there are times when trucks haul overly heavy or larger than normal loads. When this happens, truckers and trucking companies need to obtain special hauling permits to travel in Ohio and must follow operational restrictions. The purpose of these extra steps is to keep people safe since oversized vehicles and wide loads present a hazard on public roads and highways.
If you were hurt in an accident involving an oversized vehicle or wide load, then you should work with an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick to determine if the truck was compliant with the law. If the trucker was not operating within the rules, then any violation may be evidence of negligence and may support your claim for compensation.
To learn more, call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW and schedule an initial case consultation.
Oversized and Wide Truck Loads Can Cause Accidents
Oversized vehicles and wide loads must follow additional rules because they greatly increase the risk of collisions. Oversized loads take up a great deal of space on public roads, often requiring more than one lane or having to use the shoulder. By taking up extra space, they can disrupt the flow of traffic, even to the point of enabling traffic to only use two lanes instead of three near the truck. These types of loads also cannot move as quickly as other vehicles, which means they may have to move at 15 mph or more under the speed limit. A large slow moving vehicle surrounding by faster moving cars can cause a dangerous situation.
Oversized and Wide Loads Require Special Hauling Permits
If you are in an accident with a truck carrying an oversized or extra wide load, you should work with an attorney to determine whether the trucker and trucking company were operating in accordance with the law. There are regulations dictating when and how an oversized load can travel, and truckers typically must have special permits for loads that are heavier, longer, or wider than normal.
Oversized Vehicles Must Use Warning Flags and Signs
It can be difficult for you to tell from far away that a truck has overhanging cargo or is extra wide. That is why the law requires all vehicles and loads that are oversized to use red or orange warning flags that are at least 18 inches square. Overly wide trucks must have two flags at the widest parts of the vehicle or cargo and one at each corner. Trucks with cargo overhanging 4 feet or more behind the trailer must have one or two flags on the very end of the cargo, depending on its width. These trucks should also have a sign that displays “Oversize Load.”
Truckers Must Follow the Designated Route on Permit
Truckers who are operating under a special permit must follow a designated route listed on the permit. Where the trucker stops for fuel, food, and to rest must be addressed on the permit, and they are not allowed to deviate from these plans. If there is an actual obstacle to following the route, such as construction, then the trucker must contact the permit office or law enforcement about this situation and necessary deviation.
Truckers Must Obey Restricted Hours for Oversized Loads
Unlike trucks carrying cargo within normal weight and size restrictions, oversized and wide loads may be restricted to operating within certain days and times. This is necessary when a truck cannot keep up with the flow of normal traffic due to its size.
In general, trucks with special hauling permits can operate between daylight hours all week. Daylight hours are considered a half-hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset. However, there are a number of specific rules that limit the movement of oversized and wide loads even further.
Trucks that are wider than 12 feet cannot operate in a significant number of Ohio counties between 6:30 am and 9:00 am or 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. This ensures ultra-wide trucks are not attempting to operate in heavy traffic areas where they are most likely to cause and accident. These trucks are also prohibited across the entire state from traveling from 3:00 pm on Saturday to a half hour before sunrise on Sunday and from 3:00 pm on Sunday until a half hour before sunrise on Monday. Plus, between April 1 and November 30, loads wider than 12 feet cannot operate from 3:00 pm on Friday to a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday.
Trucks that require a special hauling permit are also prohibited from operating on holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Easter. Holidays technically begin at noon the day before and last until half an hour before sunrise the day following the holiday.
There are exceptions to these rules; however, the Ohio Department of Transportation attempts to restrict movement of oversized and wide loads to make roads safer overall.
Oversized Loads Must Stay in the Right Lane
When a trucker is carrying a load that requires a special permit in Ohio, they must remain in the extreme right-hand lane except to pass other vehicles, make left turns, or maintain continuous movement. This means, for the most part, a large truck should remain in the right lane except for brief periods of time.
Our Ohio Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were in an accident with a truck, contact us at KNR as soon as possible. By working with an experienced truck accident attorney right away, we can preserve crucial evidence, investigate the collision, and determine if the trucker and trucking company were compliant with all regulations regarding oversized vehicles and wide loads. If there is one or more violations, these can be used to support your claim for compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a consultation and learn more about bringing a personal injury claim after a truck accident.