There are federal limits to the size of trucks on the road. The law allows twin 28-foot tractor-trailers, but does not allow twin 33-foot trailers. The 2016 appropriations bill included a provision to change the rules to permit twin 33 foot tractor trailers but the issue is hotly debated. In fact, even trucking groups split on the issue.
The American Trucking Association is neutral, while Americans for Modern Transportation is in favor of allowing longer twin tractor trailers and the Truckload Carriers of Association is opposed.
The Truckload Carriers Association is concerned about the cost of paying for a new fleet to stay competitive, while Americans for Modern Transportation believe that allowing for longer trucks could help to improve efficiency. What is most important, however, is safety. If longer trucks are allowed and more accidents happen, more motorists could be hurt or even killed in truck crashes.
Trucking companies who use these longer trucks could be held liable for any losses, as could truck drivers if the truckers operate the trucks in unsafe ways. An Atlanta truck accident attorney can provide assistance to all truck accident victims hurt in collisions, regardless of the size of the trucks which cause them injury.
Would Longer Twin Tractor Trailers Increase or Decrease Atlanta Truck Accident Risks?
The key factor in determining whether longer twin tractor trailers should be permitted or not is whether these vehicles are safe. Senator Dianne Feinstein made a convincing argument against permitting 33-foot twin tractor trailers when the issue arose due to the proposed change in the appropriations bill to allow these longer trucks.
Feinstein indicated there were around 4,000 truck accident fatalities in 2013, with 71 percent of the victims people in other vehicles outside of the truck and with 11 percent of the victims identified as bicycle riders or pedestrians. Longer trailers are involved in more fatal accidents, according to Feinstein, with twin 28-foot trucks having an 11 percent higher fatality rate compared with single-trailer trucks.
If twin 33-foot trailers are permitted, trucks will be more than 90 feet long. They’ll swing out four feet wider than 28-foot trailers and will need more than 20 additional feet to stop. All of this makes a convincing case these longer trucks shouldn’t be allowed. But, a new study released by The Americans for Modern Transportation (AMT) coalition provides a conflicting opinion, arguing that the longer trucks will be safer.
The study was conducted by a 35-year traffic safety researcher who found the longer tractor trailers could enhance stability, enable better enforcement of truck standards, and reduce truck miles driven by 3.1 billion. With fewer trucks on the road, less accidents will occur. The research estimates as many as 4,500 accidents could be avoided due to reduced truck traffic. Transportation costs, carbon emission, and congestion would also be reduced by allowing these longer vehicles.
Obviously, with conflicting evidence, more research is needed to determine whether or not twin 33-foot tractor-trailers should be allowed on the roads or not.
The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.