One of the reasons the trucking industry is pushing the bill is that a major expansion of the Panama Canal will be completed next year, enabling enormous ships to feed goods directly to East Coast ports. Those goods will then be delivered to Midwestern states by an increasing number of 18-wheelers.
For the trucking industry, bigger rigs make bottom-line sense. The longer, heavier trucks would increase the amount of goods each vehicle could carry, while keeping the number of truckers the same.
Of course, before Congress votes on the measure, its members should consider other factors as well, including the damage the larger trucks will do to roadways and the damage the super-sized rigs will do to people in passenger vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration says 95,000 people were injured in large-truck crashes 2013. Nearly 4,000 people died in accidents involving large trucks. Of those killed, 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles. Of those injured in the large-truck accidents, 72 percent were in vehicles other than the big rigs.
So the numbers are already stacked against those of us driving cars, SUVs, motorcycles and pick-ups. Allowing the 18-wheelers to get even bigger will make our roadways even more dangerous, says Sen. Bob Casey, state newspapers and many others.
For those injured in a Pittsburgh truck accident, a conversation with an Allegheny County attorney experienced in personal injury litigation can clarify your legal options and help you understand how best to pursue full compensation.