It’s never a good idea to overload a vehicle. Whether it be cargo or people, overloading a vehicle beyond its limits is not only dangerous to the vehicle itself and its occupants, but it's downright reckless and unsafe.
That point was made clear last Sunday when a Ford Everest plunged into an irrigation canal in Tabuk City, Kalinga. 13 out of the 15 onboard died in the accident. But what makes it more shocking is the fact that everyone was crammed in a vehicle designed to carry seven. One of those who didn't make it was a three-year-old child.
According to a report by the Tabuk City Police Station, the black Ford Everest was being driven by Soy Lupe Agtulao at around 2:30 PM in Barangay Bulo. The vehicle was heading to Bulo Lake when the accident occurred and it fell into the canal.
Twelve of the victims were brought to the Mija Kim Medical Center in Agbannawag where they were declared dead on arrival. The other three victims, meanwhile, were brought to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital where one of them died. There are no details as to why the victims were all together in one vehicle. The Philippine National Police is conducting the investigation.
As mentioned earlier, the Ford Everest carried twice the passengers it was designed for, which is likely a contributing factor to the crash. When a vehicle is overloaded, it becomes less stable and more difficult to control. Just imagine filling up a shopping cart to the brim and moving it as quickly as possible.
There's also the matter of strain being put on the tires due to excess weight. If the tires do not have the right amount of pressure (depending on the weight and number of passengers), it can result in more wear and tear, or worse, a tire blowout.
More importantly, exceeding a vehicle's maximum passenger capacity means not everyone will be able to wear a seatbelt. This further increases the risk of injury or fatality should the vehicle be involved in an accident.
What happened in Tabuk City, Kalinga is a grim reminder of the consequences of overloading. While it is tempting to put everything and everyone inside one vehicle to reduce the trips, the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.