According to Sec. 15-102 of 625 ILCS 5/15-102, the maximum width of any normal load being transported in Illinois may not exceed eight and a half feet and any load wider than this is classified as an oversize load. Oversize loads are treated differently depending on the size of the load— which may range between a width of nine feet to over sixteen feet— and must be transported during the daytime under special circumstances designed to protect motorists sharing the road with the truck carrying the load. The size of the load affects the procedures that must be followed in order to legally transport it through the state but some of the rules apply to all oversize loads and must always be followed.
Proper Markings Necessary For Trucks Carrying Oversize Loads In Illinois
Oversize loads must be marked with red flags on any end of the load that hangs off of the flatbed of the truck and the flags must be able to wave freely so that motorists will notice them. Loads wider than ten feet must have a large yellow sign with the words “OVERSIZE LOAD” written on them in black letters that are tall enough to be read by motorists posted on the front and back of the truck and escorting vehicles must display oversize load signs as well. Any vehicle that escorts the oversize load needs to be marked with yellow warning lights that will catch the attention of anyone approaching the load.
Escort Vehicles Necessary To Help Alert Other Drivers & Keep Lookout
Loads that are wider than fourteen and a half feet must be escorted by at least one vehicle, which is to drive 300 feet in front of the truck on a two lane divided highway and behind the truck on any larger freeway that consists of multiple lanes on each side of the road. If the load is wider than sixteen feet, there must be an escort vehicle in the front and rear of the truck, both maintaining a distance of 300 feet. The drivers of the escort vehicles need to communicate with the truck driver via radio so that he or she is aware of obstacles in front of the truck and vehicles passing the truck on either side.
Restrictions on Oversize Loads On Illinois’ Highways
Regardless of the posted speed limit, truck drivers may not exceed 45 MPH while transporting an oversize load and must travel 5 MPH below the posted speed limit if the limit is less than 45 MPH. Some loads such as the transport of buildings designed for the housing of livestock have limits on the distance they may be transported. These buildings may not travel farther than ten miles and the route must avoid major interstate roads.
Oversize loads can be extremely volatile and dangerous to other motorists on the road and the rules that the state of Illinois has in place for the transport of these loads are designed to lower the risk to motorists. It is still very easy for something to go wrong while transporting an oversize load, however and the slightest miscalculation can lead to a severe truck accident that has the potential to claim or change the lives of everyone involved.
For this reason, truck drivers must follow all of the rules of the road and avoid making decisions in haste or performing sudden or quick maneuvers that could result in the tipping of the load onto the highway. The potential damage to property and the risk of lost lives are not worth the time that would be saved by driving faster or for longer periods than is allowed under both federal and state law.
Oversize Load Accident Attorneys: Chicago, Illinois
Our truck injury lawyers have experience litigating cases involving over size loads that have caused accidents on Illinois roadways. Put our experience to work for you and your family. We will make arrangements to visit with you at your home, hospital or a location that is convenient for you.
State Regulations for Large Loads
Oversize Load Permits: U.S. Department of Transportation
Overweight/Oversized Vehicle Permits: Illinois Tollway
IDOT: OVERSIZE AND OVERWEIGHT PERMIT MOVEMENTS ON STATE HIGHWAYS