Presently, the trucking industry is lobbying for regulations that would allow trucks to increase their weight to 97,000 pounds. Currently trucks are restricted to 80,000 pounds. This would increase truck size by about 20%. Opponents argue that more rollover accidents are likely because large trucks are more difficult to maneuver, more difficult to steer and they take longer to stop. A truck weighing 80,000 pounds is 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatality than a truck weighing 50,000 to 65,000 pounds. Large trucks are susceptible to rollover accidents due to:
A driver fails to adjust their speed to accommodate the high center of gravity
A driver turns too sharply
Distractions and fatigue can lead to corrections that result in rollover accident
Difficulty maneuvering around curves
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Poor road conditions
Should 18 Year-Olds Be Allowed to Drive Big Rigs Across State Lines?
Another bill making its way through the Senate would allow 18 year-olds to operate semi- trucks and tractor trailers. The reason the trucking industry is pushing for this law is due to the fact that there is a shortage of truckers across the United States. Shipping rates have also increased between 3 and 5 percent this year. Analysts for the trucking industry hope that by lowering the eligibility age for truck drivers, trucking companies will accept more applicants. The proposed bill would allow 18 year-olds to drive all commercial vehicles including passenger buses across state lines. Research has shown that drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 are 4 to 6 times more likely to be involved in fatal traffic accidents. Opponents insist that allowing teens to drive trucks that weigh 80,000 pounds and also allowing them to work up to 82 hours per week is a disaster waiting to happen. Combining inexperience, large trucks and high risk drivers may not be the brightest idea. The bill would restrict teens from riving over-sized loads or hauling hazardous materials. 48 states currently allow young commercial truck drivers to drive trucks within state borders.
Safety advocates are also pushing to reduce the number of hours truck drivers can spend on the road. Since 2003, truckers have been allowed to spend 77 hours behind the wheel every week and 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel.
Injuries from Truck Accidents:
Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Injuries from truck accidents can include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Truck Accident Attorneys in Sarasota and Bradenton:
Truck accidents can be very devastating and increasing truck size, increasing truck drivers hours of service and letting teenagers drive big rigs can all lead to an increase in truck accidents and truck accident fatalities. If you have been involved in a Sarasota or Bradenton truck accident, please contact the Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 953-4555. We work on a contingency fee basis and there is no fee unless we recover on your behalf. Please call us to schedule a free consultation.