Schumer Opposes Extra-Long Tractor Trailers on Highways

By Richard Shapiro, Virginia Trucking Injury Lawyer

U.S Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said this week that he is concerned about proposed federal legislation that would permit 84-foot long trailers on US freeways. Schumer believes the long tandem trailers are too long and dangerous.

“That is the length of an eight story building laid flat and put on wheels,” Schumer said. “They’re much more difficult for other cars on the road to pass. A lot of the accidents occur, when a cars tries to pass, because of their length and the inability to see around them.”

The senator stated that since 2010, the state of New York has seen 620 fatal crashes involving big rigs, and 357 occurred in upstate New York alone.


Schumer is trying to derail the legislation, which would require states to allow tandem trailers on all federal roads – including two lane roads. The legislation is called the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Bill.

New York state has a ban on such trucks right now, as do some other states.

Our Virginia trucking injury law firm has represented hundreds of families whose lives were devastated by crash involving a tractor trailer. Accidents between big rigs and cars rarely end well for the latter. According to data from the national Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were 4229 deaths nationwide involving tractor trailers.

We think that this proposed law that would allow extra-long trailers is a bad idea that would negatively affect public safety. Big rigs are already large and unwieldy enough on the nation’s roads. Imagine if you had to pass an extra-long tractor trailer on a two lane highway! It is simply too dangerous to contemplate.

Of course, you can minimize your risk of a big rig accident by remembering these tips:

  • Never cut in front of a tractor trailer suddenly. They take much longer to slow down than a car.
  • Watch the turn signals of a truck before you try to pass. If they are going to turn, you should probably wait to do your pass.
  • If you are going to pass a truck on a two lane road, do so when you have a completely open view of the road ahead, and wait until you see the entire truck cab in your rear view mirror before getting back over.