Bigger trucks threaten the safety of motorists and families on our roads, destroy our aging infrastructure, and force taxpayers to pick up the tab. That's not fair.
The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks is working to ensure that Washington heeds the warnings of law enforcement officers, EMTs and motorists. Certain large trucking companies have characterized bigger trucks as a "productivity" issue, which they claim will make them more efficient and help the economy. We need to remind lawmakers that in truth, bigger trucks would come at huge taxpayer expense while threatening lives on the highways and wrecking our roads and bridges. This is a matter that affects real people in their hometowns and communities.
Bigger trucks bring new dangers to our roads:
USDOT found that multi-trailer trucks – doubles and triple-trailer trucks – “could be expected to experience an 11% higher overall fatal crash rate than single-trailer combinations.” (USDOT, 2000)
Heavier trucks tend to have a higher center of gravity because the additional weight is stacked vertically. Raising the center of gravity increases the risk of rollovers. (USDOT, 2000)
Triple-trailer trucks are more likely to experience trailer sway and the “crack the whip” effect.” (USDOT, 2000)
Brake maintenance is already a serious problem for heavy trucks. Increasing truck weight is likely to lead to even more brake maintenance problems and longer stopping distances. Since 1980, more than 17 percent of trucks inspected as a part of Operation Air Brake have been placed out of service due to braking issues. (CUSA)
Heavier and longer trucks are likely to have poorer power-to-weight ratios, which means that they accelerate more slowly and have trouble maintaining speed on upgrades. Increasing the speed differential between trucks and other traffic increases the risk of accidents.
America's Bridges are Crumbling. And Bigger Trucks will make it Worse.
More than half the bridges on the National Highway System are more than 40-years-old and nearly 20 percent are already either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. (USDOT, 2011) It would cost $188 billion to repair current structurally deficient bridges (USDOT, 2006) and allowing heavier trucks on the road could add at least $50 billion to that tab. (USDOT, 2000)
Instead of a $50 billion bridge bailout, why not preserve the bridges we already have?
To see a map of current U.S. structurally deficient bridges, click here: Download
Our highways and bridges are in rough shape because we don't have the resources to keep them in good condition. Yet, nearly every single truck trip on a U.S. road is an exercise in deficit spending because trucks on the road today don't cover the cost of the damage they do. Allowing even bigger trucks would make this problem even worse.
The most recent federal study to look at the issue showed that the typical 80,000-pound single-trailer truck on the road today only pays for 80% of the damage it does to infrastructure. 110,000-pound triple-trailer trucks pay for only 70% of their damage and allowing 97,000-pound single-trailer trucks would result in trucks only paying for 50% of the damage they do.
Others opposed to bigger trucks:
It’s a hard enough job to maneuver 80,000 pounds and no one knows better than the men and women who drive trucks for a living that heavier trucks can reduce safety margins for themselves and other motorists. Most want no part of increasing the weight limit, either as drivers or even as motorists sharing the road.” – Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President, OOIDA
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