What is a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)? Generally, this number represents the total safe weight for a vehicle. Drivers who exceed the GVWR of their truck can end up damaging their vehicle and potentially causing extra damage in an accident.
Therefore, exceeding the GVWR could result in tickets, and an Indiana truck accident lawyer may consider a vehicle’s weight at the time of a collision when building a claim. You can learn more about this process with our team at Vaughan & Vaughan.
Call or complete our online contact form if you believe a vehicle exceeding its GVWR hit you.
What’s the GVWR of Trucks in Indiana?
The GVWR of a vehicle tells you what the maximum total safe weight is for that specific car, truck, or van. The GVWR includes the weight of the following:
- The vehicle when empty
- Any passengers
- Fuel for the vehicle
- Vehicle accessories
- Cargo carried by the vehicle
Additionally, the tongue weight of tow trailers contributes to the GVWR. However, the GVWR can vary for each truck, making it difficult to give a single number that covers all the vehicles on the road.
Where Can You Find the GVWR of a Truck?
Generally, you can find the GVWR of a vehicle on the driver-side door. Look for a sticker that provides information about the vehicle. You can also find the information in most owners’ manuals.
Lawyers may even research the GVWR of a specific vehicle after an accident if they believe the vehicle in the wreck was over the safe weight limit.
What Happens If Drivers Exceed the GVWR?
Drivers who exceed the GVWR for their vehicles risk damaging their trucks. The suspension on a vehicle may warp or snap when drivers go over the GVWR, as it exceeds the standards used by manufacturers.
Furthermore, operating a vehicle that exceeds the GVWR can put other drivers on the road at risk. Heavier vehicles have a harder time steering and stopping, and the brake system may fail when trying to slow down an excessively weighty load.
Heavier trucks also cause more damage to other vehicles in the event of an accident.
Does Indiana Have Weight Limits for Trucks?
In addition to adhering to the GVWR for trucks in Indiana, truckers have to follow the state’s restrictions on maximum legal weight for their vehicles. While the state exempts some vehicles from this regulation, most trucks in Indiana must stay under a max gross weight of 80,000 pounds.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and tickets if police officers discover the trucker overloaded their vehicle.
An Indiana semi-truck accident lawyer may also use this information when building a claim, as driving a heavy vehicle can contribute to accidents throughout the state, demonstrating a degree of negligence on the part of the trucker.
What Weights Go Into a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?
The GVWR for a vehicle includes the Curb Weight of the truck. Generally, Curb Weight refers to the weight of a vehicle when not in use and emptied of fuel, accessories, cargo, and passengers. Drivers can find the Curb Weight of a large truck by going to a weight station.
A truck’s GVWR also includes the Payload Capacity or all the additional items carried by a truck that increase its overall weight.
Truckers and other drivers must keep their payload small enough to avoid exceeding the GVWR to reduce the risk for others on the road.
Does Driving a Truck Over the GVWR Cause Accidents?
Driving a truck over the safe weight limit can make it more difficult to operate the vehicle. Truckers may have a more challenging time stopping at an intersection or safely making a turn.
However, simply driving a heavy truck does not automatically mean a trucker is at-fault for a wreck. A truck accident lawyer can investigate all the actions that led to a collision, which may include a trucker:
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions
- Backing up or changing lanes without checking their mirrors
- Losing control and jackknifing the truck across traffic
These actions are some of the common causes of truck accidents in Indiana.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Exceeding the GVWR?
Liability for accidents involving trucks over the GVWR can vary based on the specific situation around the collision. In some cases, truckers hold responsibility for operating a truck they know is over a safe weight level.
However, an Indiana truck accident lawyer may also pursue a claim against the trucking company if the business knowingly overloaded the truck. Companies pushing to make larger deliveries to save money can threaten the safety of other drivers on the road.
You can work with us to determine the specific fault for your case.
What Should You Do If an Oversize Truck Strikes You?
If a vehicle over its GVWR hits you, you can immediately contact a car accident lawyer in Indiana. You should also report the wreck to the police and seek care for any injuries caused by the collision.
The police may assess the vehicle’s weight after a wreck, including information about a potential GVWR violation in their accident report. Your lawyer may use this information to build a claim to compensate you for your losses.
Contact Us to Learn More about GVWR in Indiana
What is a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and how does it factor into truck accident cases in Indiana? The GVWR tells drivers how much weight they can carry altogether with their vehicles. Exceeding the rating can increase the odds of a dangerous accident.
You can contact our team at Vaughan & Vaughan if you believe a driver hit you while operating a vehicle over the weight limit.