As more and more states in the country begin to experiment with increasing weight limits for trucks in order to improve trucking efficiency, trucking companies, truck safety groups and Atlanta truck accident attorneys are watching these developments with interest.From a safety point of view, there is nothing to recommend an increase in truck weight limits, no matter how much these increase efficiency. Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous and deadly accidents on our roadways. A significant portion of these accidents result in serious personal injury and wrongful death.
Several states have authorized higher truck weight limits, allowing an increase on the weight of 18- wheelers from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds.Congress is also debating such increases in weight limits.Unfortunately, during a recession, calls for increases on truck weight limits have grown louder, because of the potential benefits to the trucking industry.
According to advocates for an increase in truck weight limits, such an increase will increase efficiency and productivity, lowering the number of trips needed for transportation of cargo.According to them, higher truck weight limits may also lead to lower strain and wear and tear on highways, and reduced maintenance and repair expenses.However, the number one factor behind the trucking industry’s support of increased truck weight limits is the fact that these are expected to save the trucking industry billions of dollars every year.
However, what trucking companies do not like to mention is the increased risk to motor vehicles when tractor-trailer and trucks become bulkier and heavier.According to the Truck Safety Coalition, there were more than 3,500 truck accident-related deaths that occurred in the state of Georgia between 1994 and 2009.The Truck Safety Coalition says that heavier trucks are simply more difficult to control, and take a much longer time to come to a stop when the brakes are applied.Additionally, these trucks may be much more prone to rollover crashes.According to statistics, the risk that a commercial truck accident will result in a death or injury rises with every increased ton of the truck.Supporters of increased truck weight limits say that a vehicle’s braking power will remain the same even with an increase in weight limits.
A truck that weighs 80,000 pounds is a serious danger to motor vehicles and motorcycles on a highway.Any accident that involves a smaller vehicle and a commercial truck is likely to end with serious injuries and deaths to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.The accident risks of a commercial truck are only likely to increase when it weighs close to 20,000 pounds more.
Trucking safety groups cite the reduced number of truck accident deaths across the country to support their demand for a higher weight limit.However, the decline in truck accident fatalities has been part of an overall decline in traffic accident deaths across the country.It has also had a lot to do with the recession and lowered trucking activity.
The Atlanta truck accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in truck accidents across the metro Atlanta region and Georgia.