A fully loaded tractor trailer traveling at 55 mph requires about the length of a football field to come to a stop. Some in the trucking industry are now asking that even larger commercial trucks be allowed. Given what we know about today’s trucks, this is not a safe prospect for drivers sharing the road with them.
Recently, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure heard leaders of the trucking industry make their case to increase the maximum size and weight of big rigs. A previous Congressional highway funding act called for a study into truck size and weight limits, and the hearing was part of this effort.
As expected, the trucking representatives and manufacturers testified that increasing today’s size and weight limits would be a positive. But for them, bigger, heavier trucks mean more goods transported and more new trucks sold.
Commercial trucks are dangerous enough today as is. In opposition to the proposal, the Truck Safety Coalition and leaders of safety organizations sent a signed letter to the Congressional committee that noted deaths in fatal trucking accidents have increased for three consecutive years – and 98 percent of fatalities in crashes involving trucks and cars are the car occupants.
Drivers of large and overloaded trucks can often times lose control of their rigs. And today, much of our roads and highways are not maintained properly. Heavier commercial trucks will only further strain the nation’s infrastructure and add to this dangerous situation.
Tired, distracted truck drivers are unsafe, as they are responsible for a large portion of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Drivers at the wheel of larger, slower responding trucks may cause even more catastrophes.
If you or a family member has been severely hurt in a collision with a large commercial truck, and you suspect it was the trucker’s fault, an experienced attorney can investigate who is responsible and pursue your legal rights for compensation.