We all feel it. You know the sensation. Its the rush of adrenaline that comes the moment you see a semi-truck approaching in your mirror. A brief panic takes hold. Should I switch lanes? Should I speed up to get away? Its not until after the moment passes that you breathe a sigh of relief;just now realizingthat youve been holding your breath this whole time.
Big trucks are already intimidating enough, but the trucking industry is currently fighting for legislation that would allow them to use bigger and heavier trucks on the highways, including I-95 from Melbourne to Titusville in Brevard County, FL. The current weight limitation dictates that vehicles can be no more than eighty thousand (80,000) pounds. This regulation has been in place since 1991. Trucking companies are hoping to raise this limit to ninety seven thousand (97,000) pounds, which is an over 20% increase in allowable weight. The additional weight could cause more damage to highway infrastructure, in addition to posing safety concerns for motorists, including the heavy truck operators themselves. The likely outcome of raising weight limits is an increase in truck accidents, not to mention how it might affect motor vehicle accidents in general. Public safety advocates, such as the Public Citizen and the Truck Safety Coalition, strongly oppose the trucking industrys efforts to increase acceptable weight limits. As a personal injury law firm in Central Florida, Charpentier Law, P.A., is staying abreast of changes in legislation to better serve our clients in Brevard County and Central Florida. We have obtained results forvictimsin the past, and we can do the same thing for you if you find yourself involved in a trucking or other motor vehiclerelated accident.
The concerns about heavier trucks and highway infrastructure are based on the fact that additional weight increases stress and strain on the highways. The extra weight damages these roadways and causes them to fall further and faster into disrepair. Furthermore, increased weight makes trucks harder to stop, which could, in the event of an emergency, create a safety risk for truckers and other motor vehicle operators alike. The heavier trucks result in increasingly dangerous roads and highways. Supporting the case for lower weight limits is the fatal crash rate for heavy truck accidents. This rate is already twice as high as the rate for passenger motor vehicle accidents. According to the Jere Beasley Report, truck manufacturers are most likely to blame for this higher rate. Heavy trucks are not engineered or tested for crashworthiness in the same manner as automobiles. Consequently, over half of all wrecks involving heavy trucks are fatal. Fatality can be a result of several factors, most notably Spinal Cord Injuries and Brain Injuries.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the trucking industry will change their manufacture and design processes to improve the crashworthiness of their trucks, especially if said trucks are allowed to carry heavier loads. Based on this information, it is logical to suppose that heavy truck crashes will increase if the trucking industry is allowed to increase the permissible weight limits for heavy trucks. If you find yourself or a friend in need of a Personal Injury Attorney as a result of a truck accident, Contact our Melbourne, Titusville, or Cocoa offices, which service those aforementioned cities, and other locations throughout Brevard County and Central Florida.
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Source: The Jere Beasley Report, Jan 2013