The trucks sped to their delivery destination full of freight. I watched them pass the spot where a year earlier another truck had crashed into a small car, severely injuring my client. Why did that trucking company continue to employ a driver cited on several prior occasions for an overweight truck? The answer is simple — more freight means more profit. Yet, it comes at a huge cost in safety to the rest of us on the highway.
Overweight trucks are dangerous on our roads and highways. Large overweight eighteen wheel trucks are dangerous on our Interstates. Overweight log trucks are dangerous on our rural roads. Most of us have seen a speeding commercial truck barreling down the road out of control and unable to stop. What are some of the added dangers presented by overweight commercial trucks?
- Extra weight increases the braking distance. It is more difficult for the driver to react and stop.
- Extra weight increases the likelihood of dangerous tire blowouts.
- Extra weight increases the risk a load will shift or spill causing truck instability on the highway.
- Extra weight increases the difficulty of steering and truck control.
We have rules and regulations concerning commercial truck weights for an important reason — safety. In addition to safety, overweight trucks cause extra wear and tear on our roads and bridges costing all of us. Yet, in 2015, trucking industry lobbyists pushed Congress to change important safety rules so that bigger and heavier trucks could be used on our roads. Congress should reject the efforts of corporate lobbyists to put more profit over the safety of our families on the highway. And, the trucking companies who ignore important safety rules at our risk, should be punished for the injuries they cause.