Congress has considered increasing the weight limits allowed for semi-trucks driving on highways. They have also been asked to consider triple trailers and larger tandem trailers. Some in the trucking industry support these measures, saying that the changes would be good for the economy and good for the industry, increasing productivity and customer service as well as being beneficial for the economy. Some industry experts even say that allowing larger trucks on the roads could be safer, since it could potentially mean fewer vehicles on highways and therefore less congestion which could lead to crashes.
Other safety experts, however, argue that larger trucks sharing the roads and highways with smaller vehicles will lead to more trucking collisions in Hollywood and other communities. They note that studies have already shown that heavier and larger trucks have been shown to:
•Have a higher risk of rollovers
•Increase the potential of traffic collisions
•Be harder to control
•Be harder on the roads and highways, possibly leading to secondary accidents caused by road damage
Of course, trucks currently within the weight limits already have some cargo problems. For example, some carry hazardous cargo that can be especially deadly in an accident. Others may not have correctly secured cargo so that there is a danger of debris on the roads or shifting cargo during transport. With overweight trucks, these issues would not disappear and have the potential to become even more problematic.
The larger trailers and triple trailers are another concern, with some experts saying that they amount to trains on the nation’s highways.
Another problem, according to some experts, is that there are already overweight and overloaded trucks on Hollywood and Florida roads and some worry that increasing weight limits will simply encourage even more trucks to exceed weight limits while rewarding those companies already violating the rules.
Driver safety is also a concern. Some motorists are already intimidated by 18-wheelers and other large trucks and these big rigs have many blind spots. Even larger trucks with triple trailers would inevitably have more blind spots and could potentially cause passenger car drivers to be even more timid on the roads, two things that could lead to an increased risk of truck and big rig accidents in Hollywood and other cities.
Fatalities involving larger trucks may also be an issue if larger and heavier trucks are permitted on the roads. One study from Marshall University concluded that larger trucks have a fatal accident rate that is 15.5 percent higher than that of smaller vehicles. A Department of Transportation study also found that trucks with multiple trailers have a fatal accident rate that is 11 percent higher than that of smaller trucks. These two studies suggest that larger and heavier trucks could potentially increase the risk of fatal accidents on our roads.
What do you think? Do you think larger and heavier trucks on the roads would be beneficial or a safety risk?
Have you been injured in a trucking accident? Contact Flaxman Law Group today to review your legal options and insurance policy with a personal injury attorney. Flaxman Law Group is a full service law firm with offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood. We are proud to serve the entire South Florida area and we are proud of our unwavering commitment to plaintiffs seeking justice.