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Trucks with heavy loads a road risk

There can be many dangers on the highways of Alaska, but one big concern is that some are trucks carrying loads over the legal weight limit. While many drivers do this because they are trying to help their companies deliver goods on time, heavier trucks are more dangerous to the other drivers on the road.

As Fox 23 News reports, the weight of a truck changes its ability to brake, making stopping more difficult the heavier it is. When it comes to collisions, weight makes a large difference. Many believe that doubling the weight of a truck will double the damage in the event of a crash, but actually, twice the weight will cause even more extensive damage. Roads and bridges also suffer the consequences of these overly heavy vehicles, which cost millions of dollars to repair. These infrastructure repairs need to be attended to more often because trucks that weigh more than the legal limits wear them quickly.

According to the Press Herald, fatalities from truck crashes have risen since 2009, and 2016 saw 3,852 deaths from collisions with trucks on highways across the country. With this in mind, truck weight stations are more important than ever. Each year, officers at roadside truck checkpoints make 3.5 million stops to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Many stations have sensors that can weigh a vehicle while it is in motion, allowing law enforcement to determine which trucks need to be stopped for a more lengthy examination. Federal regulators track the safety of the trucking company employing the driver and offer each company a safety rating. Stations often employ heat-sensing cameras to inspect the tires and brakes on a truck, which are affected if the load is too heavy.

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