The Brain Injury Association in Rhode Island is fighting against longer and heavier tractor trailers that have been proposed several times in Congress in recent years, according to a Sept. 5 article in the Providence Journal.
Several congressional bills in the last year on Capitol Hill would have increased the size and weight of big rigs. One of the bills would have increased the national truck weight limit to 91,000 pounds from 80,000 pounds. Other legislation also called for increasing double trailer trucks to 91 feet long.
Both of these bills were rejected with bipartisan opposition, including both senators and House representatives from Rhode Island.
However, proponents for bigger and more dangerous trucks are coming back for more in 2016. A congressman from Colorado introduced a new bill this year that calls for the same longer double trailer trucks that was defeated last year.
The Brain Injury Association opposes bigger and heavier trucks because research shows that they are more dangerous. A Department of Transportation study released last year recommended that Congress should not allow longer and heavier trucks. Not only are they more dangerous and lead to more personal injuries and deaths: They also will add $2 billion per year in extra pavement costs across the US per year, and also $1 billion extra in bridge costs.
Our personal injury truck accident lawyers in Virginia have seen far too many devastating truck accidents that have maimed and killed innocent people over the years. And those accidents were with trucks of standard size and weight. We shudder to think of the additional carnage that longer and heavier tractor trailers would wreak on the nation’s highways.
For example, we represented a family a few years ago in a personal injury case in Virginia where their car was rear ended at a traffic light by a big rig. That truck was ‘only’ 80,000 pounds, and it left the two children in the back seat of the car with horrific brain injuries. We settled that case for $5.5 million. Imagine how much worse it would have been if the truck had been even heavier! The parents in the front seat escaped injury in the accident, but may not have if the truck had been bigger.