The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed a measure that would permit longer trucks on US highways. On Capitol Hill, two Republican Senators – Richard Shelby of Alabama and Susan Collins of Maine – have launched a proposal that would increase the maximum permissible size of the trucks on our highways from the current 28 feet to 33 feet in length. These would simply be monster trucks and there are far too many risks involved in having trucks of this length on our highways. Our lawmakers are not alone in their push, the American Trucking Associations had sought a change in the rules that would allow such longer tandem trucks on the nation’s highways.
That doesn’t mean that the action hasn’t been criticized. Several lawmakers are against any change in the rules that would not just allow trucking companies operate longer tandem trucks, but would also mandate states to allow such longer trucks to utilize their roadways. The measure would essentially preempt any state laws against such longer trucks on state highways.
Having longer trucks would be very profitable for the trucking industry, because of the bigger loads that could be carried. However, the risks for occupants of the truck as well as other motorists on the road are immense. According to safety experts, these trucks cannot safely be operated on all highways, and there is a serious risk that the truck will cross into opposing lanes when making a turn. Besides, longer trucks automatically mean heavier trucks, and a much larger risk of wear and tear on American highways.
It isn’t difficult to figure out that longer trucks on our highways in an environment in which approximately 380 people are already being killed every month in trucking accidents, simply makes no sense from a safety point of view.
A fully loaded standard semi truck and trailer can weigh as much as 50,000 lbs and can require up to 355 feet to come to a complete stop. This is greater than the length of a football field. Adding length to the trucks, and more weight will result in a greater stopping distance for trucks moving in excess of 60 miles per hour. The risk to drivers on Indiana’s highways and secondary roads will only increase if the measure to extend the length of semi trucks is approved.
The Indiana trucking accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured in trucking accidents in the Indianapolis region and all across Indiana. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of a person’s action or a company’s faulty product, contact our firm today, either by phone (888.599.2640) or by completing the on-line contact form (here).