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Higher Truck Weight Limits Will Impact Highway Safety

A new piece of legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate seeks to allow individual states to increase the gross weight limit on trucks plying the Interstate Highway System.The current gross weight limit in Georgia is about 80,000 pounds.If the legislation were to become law, trucking companies would be able to increase that weight to up to 97,000 pounds.

There are several reasons why Atlanta truck accident attorneys have a problem with this.For one, it would mean greater wear and tear on our already stretched highways.These are tough economic times, and funding for highway repairs and maintenance is already hard to source.The increased wear and tear from heavier trucks would leave Georgia’s highways compromised.

There’s another more serious reason why we strongly oppose any bill to increase funding for weight limits on trucks plying interstate highways.No matter how experienced a truck driver, he will find it a challenge to drive a trailer with an additional 17,000 pounds of cargo.Ask any truck driver and he will tell you that this is likely to be a safety concern if the bill actually becomes law.Trucking can be extremely strenuous, physically challenging work, and while experience can help, Atlanta truck accident lawyers often come across devastating truck accidents caused by experienced truckers.

Supporters of the bill, known as the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, say that the bill will require trucks with heavier trailers to come with an additional axle to make up for the additional weight.They say the increased weight limit would also make trucking less expensive, and relieve congestion on our highways.

Several states have begun to experiment with increased weight limits, but we would advise caution against such experimentation in Georgia.We currently face far too many challenges involving infrequent trucking inspections, driver fatigue, and rogue truck drivers.The trucking industry and federal trucking safety authorities should be looking at how we can tackle these safety issues first.