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In Nigeria today, must vehicles that trails are overloaded and everybody seem to be OK with the phenomenon forgetting that overloading a vehicle will pose the following risks:

• The vehicle will be less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded.

• Overloaded vehicles can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.

• The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is diminished, escalating the chances for an accident.

• The overloaded vehicle cannot accelerate as normal – making it difficult to overtake

• At night, the headlights of an overloaded vehicle will tilt up, blinding oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the roadway

• Brakes have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading. Brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness to stop the car.

• With overloading, seat belts are often not used as the aim is to pack in as many persons as possible into the vehicle

• The whole suspension system comes under stress and, over time, the weakest point can give way.

• By overloading your vehicle you will incur higher maintenance costs to the vehicle – tyres, brakes, shock absorbers and higher fuel consumption

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