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.
• 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