On June 25, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a trucking industry initiative which they then attached to a $56 billion spending measure to finance transportation and housing programs. The approved bill supports the trucking industry’s desire to increase truck lengths from 28 feet to 33 feet. The proposal would allow either the creation of longer trailers or the addition of an eight-foot trailer to the back of the existing 28-foot rig.
Although the Committee has already approved the bid by a 16 to 14 vote, the bill still faces a lot of controversy. In fact, the White House has hinted it may veto the bill, while a probable filibuster is predicted if GOP leaders try to bring it to the Senate floor.
What’s the Objection to Longer Trucks?
So why all the fuss? Well, the controversy, like many political debates, centers around money versus safety.
Those in favor of the legislation argue that longer trucks…
- Will decrease transportation costs.
- Increase trucking profits.
- Improve transport time and improve commerce and trade.
However, the opponents of the proposed bill protest that the longer trucks…
- Will create more wear and tear on highways (larger trucks mean more weight and more potential hazards, such as blowouts);
- Are less safe on local roads than existing trucks (lane lengths and intersections are designed to accommodate certain truck sizes);
- Are more likely to cross into adjacent and opposing lanes when making turns;
- Will ultimately put more lives at risk
So, who has the better argument: the trucking industry, out to make money, or the opponents, out to save lives?
Do Longer Trucks Mean Higher Risks?
The length of current trucks result in hundreds of thousands of accidents each year. From left turn tragedies to jackknife accidents, the sheer size of today’s trucks is already causing too many catastrophic accidents. Over 100,000 innocent drivers and families have their futures threatened each year because of commercial truck traffic .
Taking this into account, do you think its responsible of the government to increase risks by increasing truck length? Would you feel safe knowing that the potential for an accident was overshadowed by profit? Are you concerned that an additional eight feet could cause you a lifetime of pain? Does the thought of your children driving next to a truck that has been purposefully made to be treacherous give you a sick taste in your mouth?
It does for us. After spending our entire careers speaking and fighting for the victims of truck accidents, the thought that the transportation authority would willfully put more people at risk is absolutely dumbfounding. But that’s us. How do you feel?
Let us know your thoughts by leaving a few short comments in the provided section. We want to know how you feel about this decision as well as any other concerns or questions you may have about truck accident safety and injury claims.