Kansas City, KS-Late last month, Congress approved a Transportation Bill that will allow trucking companies to haul two 33-foot trailers in tandem much to the chagrin of safety advocates. But twin 33’s may not be only the only larger, heavier trucks coming to a Kansas highways if another lobbying group for the trucking industry get their way.
The Coalition for Trucking Productivity, which represents 200 carriers and other trucking interests, is putting pressure on lawmakers to increase the maximum weight of tractor-trailers operating on the road. According to Trucking Info,the lobbying group said it would like lawmakers to allow six-axle trucks to carry up to 97,000 lbs. of freight. Currently, the weight of six-axle trucks cannot exceed 91,000 lbs. and the Department of Transportation has insisted the weight of commercial trucks no be increased.
Citing the inconclusiveness of the Department of Transportation’s Comprehensive Truck Size & Weight Limits Study, the lobbying group said their not sufficient evidence to show that heavier six-axle trucks would lead to more truck accidents.
“The actual study data provides strong support for allowing trucks equipped with six axles to carry more freight on Interstate System highways,” the spokesman for the Coalition for Trucking Productivity said in a letter. The lobbying group urged lawmakers to pass “carefully crafted truck weight reform giving each state the option to set higher Interstate weight limits only for trucks equipped with six axles.” By allowing heavier trucks, the number of trucks on the highways could be reduced.
You don’t have to be a physics major to know that a heavier truck means greater impact and therefore more destruction to person and property. Six thousand lbs. may not seem like a huge increase, but it is, especially in the event of a truck collision. The force of those extra pounds, which is equivalent to 1.5 passenger cars, could mean more severe injuries or death for truck accident victims.
Safety advocates, such as former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader and the Trucking Safety Coalition are pushing back, urging lawmakers to think about the safety of motorists and keep weight limits down.
Nader writes in an op-ed, “It should not take descriptions of grisly casualties in crashes with overturned cars and trailer trucks to motivate automobile drivers, the people whose lives are at stake when roads become less safe.”
Nader notes, as we at USAttorneys noted that this push for larger and heavier trucks comes at a time when fatal truck accidents, in Kansas City and the nation as a whole, are on the rise. This is despite a decline in fatal passenger vehicle accidents.
Truck accidents affect thousands each years. Many lives are taken many others suffer life-changing injuries. If you have had the misfortune of being in a major truck accident, we urge you to contact a truck accident attorney near your Kansas City location to assist you with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. When you retain one of our accomplished and professional truck accident attorneys, you can be confident that your rights and securing a just settlement for you and your family will be their top priority.