Oversize cargo refers to situations where the dimensions of the cargo being carried in a large commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, exceed the standard container internal sizes.
When the cargo inside the trailer of the commercial truck exceeds the container limits either vertically or horizontally, the trailer carrying the cargo must be open in reflect the excess in size. For instance, Georgia drivers may recognize a large truck traveling with open sides, open tops, or on flatrack containers.
Oversize cargo is commonly referred to as out of gauge cargo or overdimensional loads. Navigating the Georgia roads and highways with these loads not only puts the truck driver in danger, but also endangers every other motorist on the roadway. When oversize cargo accidents occur, the injuries associated are often catastrophic, as the sheer size and structure of tractor-trailers amplifies the risk of accident injury.
Currently, about 1.7 million commercial vehicles are operating in the United States, the District of Columbia, and ten Canadian Provinces, as authorized by the International Registration Plan (IRP). Commercial vehicles are required to register with the IRP when they adhere to the following:
- Combined gross weight of at least 26,000 pounds or greater
- Two or more axles
- Travels through at least two Member Jurisdictions with passengers or goods
Once a commercial truck is registered with the IRP, they are referred to as an Apportioned Vehicle and must comply with all rules mandated by the organization. The IRP plays a significant role in keeping track of commercial vehicles in terms of safety, travel, and their overall relationship with other districts and vehicles.
Truckers and the companies in which they work for take on an enormous responsibility each and every day. When operating a large commercial truck, the employee is not only responsible for safely transporting cargo, but also must keep that cargo in good condition. Oversize cargo accidents create a problem for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they present a serious health risk to any surrounding vehicles. Secondly, the cargo which is being transport becomes an additional “weapon” for both the trucker and all other motorists.
When driving on the highways and roads in Georgia, all drivers must be aware of any presence of large commercial vehicles. Being aware of these trucks allows motorists to quickly react to changes in traffic, while keeping in mind the potential danger that exists if a collision were to occur. The following are some of the most common examples of oversized cargo:
- Large pipes
- Metal coils
- Concrete construction pipes
The above pieces of cargo are not only atypical in terms of dimension, but they also maintain an incredibly large weight. When a crash occurs, this cargo is often on the loose, potentially destroying everything in its path. While some traffic collisions are certainly unavoidable, being aware of the most common oversize cargo will help drivers to make adjustments accordingly
A standard size vehicle is not designed to withstand the serious impact that commonly follows a collision with a commercial truck. Due to the enormous disparity in size, a standard car often suffers massive destruction when coming in contact with such a gigantic vehicle. Those accident victims who survive these types of crashes often suffer from debilitating injuries. Sadly, in many cases, those involved in these accidents do not survive.