Compared to your sedan, an 18-wheeler is a behemoth. If the truck is overloaded with cargo, the driver may not have complete control of the vehicle. If a crash occurs between your car and the big rig, you and your vehicle will probably not fare well.
Commercial trucks are subject to a variety of state and federal regulations, and overloaded cargo violates these laws. Responsible trucking companies see that their new drivers receive training in proper loading practices, but some companies are more interested in the bottom line. If the trucks can haul more cargo, the company stands to make more of a profit, so certain regulations will be overlooked.
Overloaded cargo is prone to shifting. The only indication a motorist might have about the situation would be if the big rig is weaving a bit and appears to be having trouble staying in its lane. This is an especially dangerous problem if the truck is going down a steep incline. Because of the additional weight, the 18-wheeler will require more time and distance to stop, and the driver may not realize how much braking power she or he will need; the results could be catastrophic.
An overloaded truck presents a safety issue for the owner. If a crash results, the trucking company is open to liability. However, truck-car collisions make for complex legal cases because multiple entities could be charged with negligence. If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a truck-car crash, you will be eligible for compensation to cover your medical costs, loss of wages and more. You can expect a thorough accident investigation to be launched, possibly with the help of experts like reconstruction engineers and other professionals.