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Big Rigs, Bigger Risks

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Big rigs have the potential to take more than just your lane, as the trucking industry proposes changes to safety regulations that have the potential to harm fellow motorists. Big rigs crashes, also known as semi trucks, kill nearly 4,000 Americans and injury 85,000 every year. Despite the known danger these highway behemoths pose to their own and other drivers, few changes have been made to make the driving of these vehicles safer. Big rig fatalities have increased 17 percent since 2009, with big rig injuries also on the rapid rise.


There is no shortage of concern regarding the safety of these vehicles, yet the trucking industry continues to push for relaxed regulations. The trucking industry’s wish list seems oblivious to the risks that such large vehicles pose to motorists. They seek to raise the maximum weight from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds, lower the minimum age so drivers as young as 18 can take the wheel, eliminate a mandatory 2-night resting period for drivers working long weeks, and remove safety ratings of trucking firms from the public inspection. 


These changes have not gone unnoticed by trucking safety advocates. Experts have expressed alarm over numerous proposals, particularly one that would allow trucks to haul two 33-foot trailers, increasing the current limit of 28-feet. The thought of an eight-story building turned on its side, thundering down the highway, has left many officials wary of the trucking industry’s influence.




Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said “We have special trucking interests pushing legislation that will result in overweight, oversized trucks being driven by overworked, underage truck drivers that are inadequately insured. All this with a backdrop of truck crash deaths and injuries climbing significantly and steadily.” Her concerns highlight the rising death toll due to big rig crashes and the failure of the trucking industry to prioritize the health and safety of their drivers and other motorists.


Hurley McKenna & Mertz advocates for families and victims of the trucking industry. With more than 75 years of combined experience, our Chicago, Illinois motor vehicle accident attorneys can provide the skills, knowledge, and resources to help you and your loved ones pursue the compensation you deserve. Obtain dedicated and aggressive representation by calling 312-553-4900 to schedule your free consultation today.






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