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Why is the Tennessee Department of Transportation Adding Signs to I-40?

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Three semi-trucks rolled over at the same spot on the Interstate 40 and Interstate 24 split last month. While Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials believe that all of the semi-trucks were carrying heavy loads or were overloaded. Nashville Police Department officials believe speed was a factor in the first truck crash on June 13th, a load shift was a factor in the second truck crash on June 23rd, and the third truck accident that happened June 27th is still being investigated.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials have announced new signs are going up at the I-40 and I-24 split.


Large trucks are already a threat to other drivers due to the fact they need more time and space to react to road conditions. In Tennessee, semi-trucks are only allowed to carry 20,000 pounds per axle, or 80,000 pounds total, on the road. Often, trucking companies will put pressure on the drivers to ignore this law. Semi-trucks already pose a risk to other drivers due to their size and weight. However, when truck drivers carry more than 80,000 pounds of cargo, they pose a serious danger to themselves and other drivers.

Overloaded trucks are a factor in roughly 5 percent of all truck accidents across the nation. While distracted truck drivers and driver fatigue make up a larger percentage of those accidents, the nature of overloaded trucks puts everyone on the road for greater risk of death and catastrophic injuries. Overloading a truck increases the likelihood of rollovers and tire blowouts, given that the extra weight puts unnecessary strain on the mechanical components. Moreover, it’s possible for cargo to shift, causing a truck to jackknife or rollover.

Given that state and federal governments have very clear weight limits for commercial trucks, there is no excuse for overloading a truck and sending it out onto the road. While it’s a good thing that TDOT is putting more signs up on the I-40, this alone won’t decrease the amount of overloaded trucks on the road. There needs to be more police enforcement for overloaded trucks.

Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville personal injury attorney that fights for victims injured in truck accidents.

“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:21


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