Larger and Larger Trucks and the Cause of Accidents
The Trucking Industry is always lobbying to get bigger and heavier trucks on America’s highways.
The current maximum allowed weight on the road is 80,000 pounds. This has been in effect since being adopted in 1991. The trucking industry seeks to increase the maximum weight capacity on the road to 97,000 pounds. These additional pounds could increase safety issues for motorists, including the heavy truck operators themselves, as well as be the cause of more damage to our already weak infrastructure.
Safety professionals strongly oppose any increase in allowable maximum weight limits for on the road heavy trucks.
On top of the added strain and stress on our highways that the additional maximum allowable weight would put on the highway infrastructure, these larger, heavier trucks would prove harder to stop in an emergency and actually present additional risks to the safety of the truck operators themselves.
The fatality rate for heavy truck accidents is already at least twice the crash rate for passenger vehicles.
The manufacturers of these types of trucks do not usually test or engineer their vehicles for safety or crash worthiness in the same way as passenger vehicle manufacturers. Because of this, heavy trucks offer little protection to the truck occupants. This results in a 50% to 60 % rate of fatalities in heavy truck crashes.
It is highly unlikely that the truck manufacturers would make changes to their designs to improve crash worthiness in their trucks if the maximum allowed weight was increased.
Because of this, the fatality statistics for heavy trucks would probably be even higher if the truck and hauling industry is permitted to increase the permitted size and weight of the cargo they are allowed to carry.
There are many factors which cause truck accidents. In many cases over many years, the problems which have contributed to crashes have included: companies who hire their drivers without conducting a drug test first. Companies sometimes don’t adequately check their applicant’s police and driving records. This leads to truck operators behind the wheel of a heavy truck despite having a history of alcohol and drug or even past DUI arrests. At other times, companies have hired drivers without providing them with proper training on correct safety concerns and driving technique.
Sometimes, even the best truck operator, clean record, proper training and all, can still have trouble while on the road because of the delivery deadline pressure and resulting strenuous workload. Unfortunately, the truck and freight hauling companies will usually side with their own drivers and try and blame the victims of the accidents even if it is obvious that the truck driver’s own negligence caused the accident. However, a dedicated and experienced heavy truck accident attorney can sort through the relevant facts and ensure that liability is assigned to whom it should be.
All too frequently, heavy truck and big rig tragedies happen on the roads that should have been avoided. Even with very strict regulations governing hiring practices and rules mandating reasonable work hours for heavy truck drivers, truck and freight hauling companies still ignore those rules and focus on increasing profits.
If you have been injured in a heavy truck accident, you really need an experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable lawyer to ensure you get the compensation and care you deserve.
Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?
The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.