There is a new push to allow bigger trucks on the roads and highways of America. Trucking companies are talking about longer trucks and trucks with double and triple trailers. Even with the current weight limit, crashes involving commercial trucks cause too many serious injuries and deaths every year.
The Wall Street Journal indicated the push in Congress is coming from 150 companies who want to allow trucks up to 20% heavier than the current 80,000 pound limit. This would make the average truck go from 80,000 pounds to 96,000 pounds. These longer and heavier trucks would increase the blind spots of truck drivers around the tractor trailer as well as making them harder to stop quickly. Unless they are able to substantially increase the power of the brakes, the additional momentum will mean longer stopping distances and more accidents.
And even if trucks have increased breaking capacity, passenger cars and pickup trucks wont have any additional strength added to withstand the impact from these super trucks. Even if newer cars can be built to withstand the additional impact force, hundreds of millions of older cars would remain unprotected.
In addition to consumer safety organizations that uniformly think this is a bad idea, OIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) has stated that the stability of a tractor trailer is “substantially reduced on bigger and heavier trucks.” Rollovers are already the leading cause of truck driver deaths. Allowing heavier trucks would only make one of the most deadly professions more dangerous. One government official, a truck inspector, called the idea is “insane” according to the Wall Street Journal article.
I have represented hundreds of innocent people who have been seriously injured in wrecks with tractor-trailers. Many of them are lucky to be alive. The picture below is the car two of my clients were in after it was run over by an 18-wheeler. Fortunately, they both survived. If the truck that hit them had been 16,000 pounds heavier, they would surely have been killed. If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, call my office at 817-885-8000 immediately to discuss your case. I will take the time to meet with you and answer all your questions. The sooner you call, the sooner I can start working on your case and making you money.