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On behalf of Pat Crispi at Keogh Crispi PC

Although truck accident fatalities are increasing, federal regulations on truck size could soon be relaxed.

Hundreds Of People Are Killed In Truck Accidents Every Month In The United States

Trucking can be a dangerous business, with truck accidents far more likely to lead to serious injury or death than most other types of motor vehicle accidents. In fact, according to USA Today, every month over 300 people are killed and about 8,000 injured in truck accidents across the United States. Despite those gruesome statistics, federal safety regulations that are designed to reduce the likelihood of truck accidents could soon be relaxed. The U.S. Congress is considering a measure that would permit even larger trucks on roads and highways, a change that safety advocates say will do nothing to help lower the growing number of truck crashes.

Mandatory Truck Length

The proposal, part of a larger transportation funding bill that the House of Representatives will vote on this fall, would require most states to increase the current maximum truck length they allow on their roads and highways. In 39 states right now, trucks are limited to towing two 28-foot trailers. If the congressional measure passes, however, those states would be forced to allow trucks that tow two 33-foot trailers-a limit that is currently only allowed in 11 states.

Carrying two trailers measuring 33 feet each means that the entire length of these vehicles could reach 84 feet-so long, in fact, that some have referred to them as "road trains." The proposed increase comes despite the fact that fatalities related to truck accidents have risen 17 percent in the last four years while injuries have soared 28 percent.

Road Dangers

Allowing larger trucks on roads and highways is, perhaps unsurprisingly, rather unpopular with the American public, with about 75 percent opposed to the idea. While the trucking industry says that larger trucks will actually mean an overall reduction in trucks on the road and therefore a reduction in traffic, safety experts say allowing 84-foot vehicles is the wrong move at a time when truck accident fatalities are increasing.

As the Observer-Reporter notes, a main concern with these longer vehicles is that their immense size can make them difficult to maneuver, especially when it comes to passing and merging with traffic. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the larger vehicles will cause an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to roads and another $1 billion to bridges.

Involved In A Truck Accident?

Truck accidents are not just unique because of their potential to cause immense devastation, but also because of the legal issues that often only affect truck accidents. Unlike with most other motor vehicle crashes, numerous parties may be liable for the accident beyond the drivers themselves, such as the trucking company and the truck's owner. It is also important, in the aftermath of a truck accident, for authorities to verify whether the truck driver was complying with all state and federal safety regulations, such as limits on driving hours. Because of these unique factors, it is especially important for anybody who has been involved in a truck accident to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. In order to have the best chance at receiving compensation, truck accident victims will want the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in handling these unique and, at times, difficult cases.

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