Hope you all enjoyed your pumpkin pie. I sure did. And have you examined your waist line recently? If you’re like many Americans, it’s expanding. But not as fast as American truck drivers, according to a NY Times article I read last week. And then just today I read an article about how trucks are getting heavier, too. It seems everything in America is super-sized these days.
But let’s just talk trucks for now. Officially, the national weight limit for freight trucks on interstate highways is 40 tons (80,000 lbs). But in almost half of the 50 States, Federal laws now allows for trucks weighing more (not yet in New York). Last week, Congress added Maine and Vermont to the list, allowing trucks up to 100,000 pounds there.
So what’s the BIG deal? (pun intended). Big trucks make for big accidents, as this Central and Syracuse NY trucking accident lawyer knows all too well. And they also make for more frequent accidents because they are harder to control and stop. And they also chew up our roads and bridges faster, which chews up your tax dollars faster.
Are trucks done getting bigger? Fat chance. The American Trucking Associations is already lobbying to raise the national weight limit to 97,000 pounds.
So why does Congress keep passing laws allowing steroid-enhanced trucks to roam our intrastate highways? If you ask them, they will say bigger trucks hauling more mean fewer trucks on the road, which lowers congestion and increases national fuel efficiency. But if you ask me, the reason is that money trumps safety. The trucking industry is not just growing its trucks, but also its friends in Congress’ campaign wallets. In America, everyone thinks big . . .
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