Big trucks causing big trouble on the road
In 2015, truckers delivered more than 67% of the country’s total freight. The average fully-loaded 18 wheeler weighs 80,000 pounds. The average car weighs 4,000 pounds. That alone spells big trouble in accidents with big trucks.
In 2015, big truck accidents killed 69% of car drivers compared to 16% of truck drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In 2015, 3,852 people died in accidents with trucks – “22% more than in 2009.” The 2015 figures are the latest available totals from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission (FMCSA).
The threat could get a lot worse
The trucking industry is lobbying Congress for changes in federal regulations to increase their profits. Critics contend the changes will put even more people in danger on American roads.
Yet trucking industry lobbyists are urging Congress to increase load limits above 80,000 pounds and increase the length of trailers – from 28 feet to 33 feet. That’s taller than a 3-story building if each story is 10 feet tall, a norm for commercial structures.
In mid 2016, a The Huffington Post article about lobbyists’ requests to Congress included their arguments for 82 hour work weeks for truckers (up from the current 70 hour limit) and hiring cross- country drivers as young as 18, although statistics clearly show that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.
Why do trucking companies want to reduce safety regulations?
The trucking industry is currently experiencing a severe shortage of drivers just as consumer demand for goods is heating up. In 2015, the American Trucking Association reported a shortage of 35,000 to 40,000 truck drivers, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported the shortage is especially acute in long haul operations. Experienced drivers are retiring and the industry is having trouble attracting new drivers. The average driver now is 55 years old and many are retiring. Relaxing the regulations could boost trucking industry profits by putting bigger loads on the road with younger drivers.
Wayne Wright knows these changes are dangerous
The present shortage of drivers, and the 70 hour work week federal rules permit, already puts more tired and drowsy truck drivers on the road. The GTG Technology Group, a national transport management firm, cites drowsy driving as a top 5 cause of trucking accidents.
Wayne Wright is one of America’s top trial lawyers. He has been a major defender of victims’ rights in trucking accidents for 40 years. His national legal awards prove that he has record of winning big cases for victims. You only pay fees, agreed upon in advance, when Wayne Wright wins your case. Calls and evaluations are free.