Commercial trucks continue to grow in size to the point that while the combined length of a tractor-trailer in the 1960’s was about 40 feet, today their combined length can be 57 to 59 feet long. This, of course, not only means more weight capacity, but deadlier accidents….
Large Truck More Likely To Crash
Statistics show that while large trucks account for just 4 percent of all registered vehicles and make up for just 7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, they are involved in 11 percent of all crash fatalities. Logically, the longer and heavier commercial trucks become, the deadlier these trucks are. The odds of those traveling in the average family car of surviving an accident with one of these large trucks decreases as the weight of the truck increases.
According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, a commercial truck weighing 80,000 pounds is more than twice as likely to get involved in a fatal crash as one weighing 50,000 pounds. This is because of the increased braking space needed as weight increases. For example, a commercial truck weighing 100,000 pounds with unadjusted brakes travels 25% further after the driver steps on the brakes than an 80,000 pound truck.
Large truck crashes cost our economy $19 billion every year. And, a final chilling accident statistic: the annual death toll from truck related crashes equals 26 major airplane crashes every year….
Larger Trucks Do Not Equal Less Trucks On Road
Studies continue to show a steady increase in the number of commercial trucks in our roads, despite their larger size over the years. This means that the fact that they are now bigger, has not translated into fewer trips or less miles travelled. As a matter of fact, according to the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, the number of trucks and miles traveled per truck continue to consistently grow every year despite the growth in size of the trucks themselves. As a matter of fact, the number of tractor trailer trips is expected to grow tremendously in the next 10 years putting more cars and their occupants in harm’s way.
Trucking Companies’ Greed
Trucks keep being built larger because there is a demand for larger trucks from the trucking companies and the shippers they service. Therefore, so long as technology allows for the increase in size, we will continue to see them being built bigger…We must remember, however, that the primary motivation for those demanding larger trucks is profit, which increases as corporations can move more merchandise per truck.
Over the years, we have seen trucking companies overload their trucks, load them incorrectly and force their truckers to drive longer hours, all in the name of profit. This has not changed with larger rigs. In addition to the dangers inherent to the trucking companies’ greed, these larger rigs cannot be supported by our road infrastructure. For example, according to the Highway Research Board, one tractor-trailer causes as much damage to the road as 9,600 regular passenger cars.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. The Miami Dade County Truck Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano has throughout the years represented many clients involved in traffic fatalities, traumatic brain injuries and serious personal injuries. Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.