Wall Street Journal: Longer, Heavier Trucks Are a Serious Hazard

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

Wall Street Journal: Longer, Heavier Trucks Are a Serious Hazard

My own experience informs my serious concerns with making trucks even longer.

The public should urge their lawmakers to oppose efforts by FedEx and UPS to increase the national twin-trailer standard to 33 feet from 28 feet per trailer (Letters, Feb. 6). Granting this corporate giveaway will permit longer trucks on our roads, which will erode safety and adversely affect our nation’s infrastructure.

My own experience informs my serious concerns with making trucks even longer. In August 2010, my wife, Susan, was killed and my sons, Peter and Matthew (who is now permanently disabled), were injured in a crash after a truck driver operating a triple tractor-trailer fell asleep and crashed into the back of their vehicle.

Unfortunately, crashes in which a truck rear ends a passenger vehicle have skyrocketed, increasing 82% from 2009 to 2015, as calculated by the Truck Safety Coalition. Introducing trucks that require an additional 22 feet to brake will exacerbate this trend.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study, any reduction in truck-vehicle miles traveled would be wiped out within one year by increases and shifts in freight transportation. The study also found that permitting double 33s would incur a one-time cost of $1.1 billion to strengthen and replace more than 2,000 bridges. This finding dispels the claim that the “trucking industry foots the bill.”

Instead of demanding longer trucks that require a greater distance to stop, companies should look to technologies, such as automatic emergency braking, speed limiters and underride protections to enhance safety, protect our infrastructure and improve their bottom lines.

Ed Slattery

Lutherville, Md.

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/longer-heavier-trucks-are-a-serious-hazard-1518467727 

Published: Feb. 12, 2018 3:35 p.m. ET

 

Group Letter to House THUD Appropriations Committee to Oppose Truck Size and Weight Increases

June 12, 2017

The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman  

The Honorable David Price, Ranking Member Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies  Committee on Appropriations    

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515      

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price:

As the Subcommittee prepares for Thursday’s hearing to review the FY 2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), our broad and diverse coalition urges you to reject any provisions that would increase federal truck size and weight limits including the creation of any “pilot programs” or special interest exemptions to evade current limits. 

Current trends show that truck crashes are too frequent and too often are fatal.  In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks.  According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), this is an increase of more than 4 percent from the previous year and a 20 percent increase from 2009.  Furthermore, this is the highest fatality number, and the first time truck crash deaths have exceeded 4,000, since 2008.  Truck crash injuries are also rising significantly.  In 2015, 116,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks.  This is the highest number of injuries since 2004, and there has been a 57 percent increase in the number of people injured in large truck crashes since 2009. The annual number of deaths and injuries is completely unacceptable and would not be tolerated in any other mode of transportation.

In addition to this massive death and injury toll, our nation’s roads continue to receive a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers.  The report revealed that one of every five miles of highway pavement is in poor condition and that there is a significant and increasing backlog of rehabilitation needs. Additionally, one in eleven of the nation’s 615,000 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory were structurally deficient.  

Any proposals that would allow heavier and longer trucks on our nation’s roads and bridges will further endanger the safety of motorists, and inflict even more damage and destruction to our infrastructure and should be rejected. 

In fact, attempts to increase truck size and weight limits were defeated during the last Congressional session by both the Senate and the House in strong bipartisan votes.  In addition to documented safety and infrastructure problems, the American public consistently and overwhelmingly rejects bigger and heavier trucks in countless opinion polls.   

Furthermore, Congress directed the U.S. DOT to conduct a Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study in the 2012 MAP-21 law (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141).  In April of last year, U.S. DOT transmitted the completed study to Congress and recommended that no changes be made to federal truck size and weight laws. 

Trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds have a greater number of brake violations, which are a major reason for out-of-service violations. Alarmingly, trucks with out-of-service violations are 362 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, according to a North Carolina study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Tractor-trailers moving at 60 mph are required to stop in 310 feet – the length of a football field – once the brakes are applied.  Actual stopping distances are often much longer due to driver response time before braking and the common problem that truck brakes are often not in top working condition.  In 2016, violations related to tires and/or brakes accounted for five of the top ten most common vehicle out-of-service violations.  Moreover, increasing the weight of a heavy truck by only 10 percent increases bridge damage by 33 percent.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that the investment backlog for bridges, to address all cost-beneficial bridge needs, is $123.1 billion.  The U.S. would need to increase annual funding for bridges by 20 percent over current spending levels to eliminate the bridge backlog by 2032.

The study also found that introducing double 33 foot trailer trucks, known as “Double 33s,” would be projected to result in 2,478 bridges requiring strengthening or replacement at an estimated one-time cost of $1.1 billion. It is important to note that this figure does not account for the additional, subsequent maintenance costs which will result from longer, heavier trucks.  Moreover, double trailer trucks have an 11 percent higher fatal crash rate than single trailer trucks. They also require more stopping distance, take more time to pass, have bigger blind spots, cross into adjacent lanes and swing into opposing lanes on curves and when making right angle turns. Simply put, bigger trucks mean bigger safety problems. 

We strongly oppose any so-called “pilot program” to allow heavier trucks in a select number of states because it opens the flood gates to widespread disregard for well-researched and wellsupported national policies.  The piecemeal approach also makes enforcement and compliance more difficult, burdens states with reasonable truck weights to succumb to pressure for higher weights, and creates deadly and costly consequences for highway safety and infrastructure. 

Despite misleading claims to the contrary, research and experience shows that allowing bigger, heavier trucks will not result in fewer trucks. Since 1982, when Congress last increased the gross vehicle weight limit, truck registrations have increased 95 percent. The U.S. DOT study also addressed this assertion and found that any potential mileage efficiencies from use of heavier trucks would be offset in just one year. 

Annual truck crash fatalities are equivalent to a major airplane crash every other week of the year.  Any change overturning current truck size and weight laws will further strain and erode our crumbling infrastructure, present dire safety risks and disrupt efficient intermodal freight transportation.  It is critical that any proposals which would increase the size or weight of trucks be rejected, including pilot programs and measures to preempt state limits.  Thank you for your consideration of our position.

Letter to House THUD Appropriations Committee 

Oppose Longer Trucks

Proposals to Allow Longer Trucks on Our Nation’s Roadways Will Jeopardize Safety, Further Damage Our Infrastructure, and Disregard Public Opinion on Truck Size

Thirty-three-foot double-trailer trucks are 10 feet longer than the existing double configurations they would replace and are 17 feet longer than the 53-foot single-trailer trucks on the road today. A mandate by Congress for these longer trucks would override the laws of most states. Moreover, public opinion polls show that the American public has consistently affirmed their overwhelming support for truck size limitations. A nationwide survey conducted by Harper Polling in January 2015 found that 76 percent of respondents oppose longer and heavier trucks. This reaffirmed findings from a public opinion poll conducted by Lake Research Partners in May 2013 that found 68 percent of Americans oppose heavier trucks and 88 percent of Americans do not want to pay higher taxes for the damage caused by heavier trucks.

Longer Trucks Will Be More Dangerous to Motorists, Motorcyclists, Bicyclists and Pedestrians

  • The annual cost to society from crashes involving Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) is estimated to be over $112 billion.
  • Nearly all of the large multi-trailer combination trucks, as well as single unit trucks, examined in the 2000 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study had worse roll stability,  and in some instances by wide margins, than the standard five-axle semitrailer combination loaded to 80,000 lbs.
  • A study conducted by the Multimodal Transportation & Infrastructure Consortium (MTIC) shows that double-trailer configurations have an 11 percent higher fatal crash rate than single-trailer trucks.

Longer Trucks Compromise Operating Characteristics

  • As truck length increases, passing and merging become more difficult—increasing the odds of failure to pass.
  • Increasing 28-foot double-trailer trucks to 33-foot double-trailer trucks results in:

o   a 33% increase in low-speed off-tracking, and

o   a 22 feet longer stopping distance.

o   This means greater hazards to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and motorists in their path, as well as more damage to infrastructure.

Longer Trucks Will Cause More Damage to Our Fragile Infrastructure

  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $143 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis over the next 20 years to significantly improve conditions and performance.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nation a grade of D+ on our infrastructure.  Our roads were graded D and bridges, C+.

Longer Trucks Will Result in Increased Costs to Tax Payers

  • Unintended Costs Will Result from Longer Trucks

o   Highway hardware   costs to assess guard rails, crash pads, rail crossings, etc. and the costs for replacement when assessment determines the hardware is insufficient;

o   Accessory infrastructure   costs to assess bridge and roadway ratings and capacity, to produce and install signs and warnings, to make improvements to accommodate larger trucks, to repair pavement torsion caused by non-steering axles (also called tire scrubbing), and to maintain roadway and bridge infrastructure at increased rates of wear and damage;

o   Truck facilitiescost for improvements necessary to accommodate larger trucks, new or modified weight scales, new and modified parking and fuel facilities.

  • According to the 2007 Transportation for Tomorrow report, mandated by Congress, heavy trucks are underpaying their fair share for highway use. The report also found that user fee fairness could be achieved through weight-distance taxes and heavy trucks should pay an infrastructure damage fee. Moreover, Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, which only contributes $1 billion annually to the Highway Trust Fund—had not been changed since the early 1980s.

Longer Doubles are Premised on “Junk Science” and Flawed Analysis Conducted by Industry-Funded Research

  • The Woodrooffe study, on which many of the safety and efficiency claims for double 33s are based, was produced under contract to Federal Express (FedEx) and ConWay. It contains three serious flaws:

o   It makes the spurious assumption that two trailers of different lengths (28 v 33 feet) would both be filled to equal weights despite carrying different volumes of freight;

o   It ignores the fact that 33 foot trailers would weigh more when empty than 28 foot trailers, which would decrease the calculated efficiency estimates on those portions of trips when operating below capacity or empty; and,

o   It miscalculates the comparative increase in payload (volume) of 33 foot trailers as compared to 28 foot trailers.

Both Law Enforcement Officers and Truck Drivers Consider Longer Trucks More Dangerous

  • In the MTIC study, 21 Officers were interviewed and 20 officers indicated “that longer and heavier trucks would be ‘more dangerous’ because the additional length and weight would add new factors to an already complicated chain of events.”
  • Likewise, surveyed truck drivers are consistent in their opinion that heavier and/or longer trucks impact safety. Eighty-eight percent believed that a higher use of longer combination vehicles (LCVs) would negatively impact highway safety.

Truck Size Fact Sheet – TSC 2017

Oppose Heavier Trucks

Proposals to allow 91,000 pound and heavier, overweight trucks on our nation’s roadways will jeopardize safety and further damage our infrastructure

Public opinion polls show the American public has consistently affirmed their overwhelming support for truck weight limitations, and firm opposition to holding taxpayers responsible for paying for infrastructure damage caused by heavier trucks. A survey conducted in April 2013 noted that a strong majority of Americans oppose efforts to change the law and allow heavier trucks on our roads and that this opposition spans almost every major demographic, geographic, and partisan group.

Heavier Trucks Will Be More Dangerous to Motorists, Motorcyclists, Bicyclists and Pedestrians

  • Big rigs carrying loads close to the current Federal Limit (65,000 to 80,000 lbs.) are already twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as trucks carrying less than 50,000 lbs.
  • Heavier trucks will increase the rate of wear and amplify the severity of collisions occurring when brakes under-perform from lack of maintenance.
  • The Department of Transportation Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study found that heavier trucks in three states have 47 to 400 percent higher crash rates. The report also found that heavier trucks have higher rates of brake violations compared to lighter trucks, which is a common reason for higher out-of-service violations.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded in 2016 that a truck with any out-of-service violations is 362 percent more likely to be involved in a crash.

Heavier Trucks Will Cause More Damage to Our Fragile Infrastructure

  • Overweight trucks disproportionately damage the already deteriorated roads and bridges. An 18,000 lb. truck axle creates over 3,000 times more damage to pavement than a passenger vehicle axle.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nation a grade of D+ on our infrastructure.  Our roads were graded D and bridges, C+.
  • The U.S. has 614,387 bridges, almost four in 10 of which are 50 years or older. 56,007 (9.1%) of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2016, and on average there were 188 million trips across a structurally deficient bridge each day.
  • A mere 20 percent increase in weight for a heavy truck increases bridge damage by 33 percent.

Heavier Trucks Will Result in Increased Costs to Tax Payers

  • The annual cost to society from crashes involving Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) is estimated to be over $112 billion in 2014.[x]
  • The trucking industry underpays its roadway user fees and receives special interest subsidies, ensuring that they do not cover all the damages they inflict on roadway and bridge infrastructure, contributing to a chronic deficit.

o   The most recent study to look at federal government subsidies of heavy truck operations revealed that taxpayers contribute almost $2 billion every year.

o   The FHWA reported that trucks weighing more than 80,000 lbs. only pay between 40 and 50 percent of the costs for which they are responsible.

  • Adding a 6th axle will not mitigate increased wear and strain on bridges.

o   The projected one-time costs of bridges with posting issues (i.e. the need for strengthening or replacing a bridge) caused by raising truck weights to 91,000 pounds is $1.1 billion. This weight increase is expected to produce 4,845 bridges with posting issues.

o   Heavier trucks will produce higher maintenance and replacements costs due to the reduced bridge life span resulting from increases to stress repetition and the rate of stress repetition.

o   The FHWA estimated the investment backlog for bridges is $123 billion.

Heavier Trucks Will Result in More Trucks, Not Less

 

  • Increases to truck size and weight will not decrease the number of trips, result in fewer miles traveled, or improve safety by reducing the number of trucks on the highways. The number of trucks and miles traveled on U.S. highways has consistently grown over the past few decades even after several increases in both the sizes and weights of large trucks.

 

  • A 2010 study on freight diversion concluded that increasing truck weights to 97,000 pounds would result in a net increase of nearly 8 million more trucks on our roads and bridges, a 56 percent increase.

Any So-Called “States Option” For Heavier Trucks is a De-Facto Nationwide Increase

  • Legislation to increase truck size and weight limits state-by-state is merely a back door attempt by trucking interests to come back to Congress in a few years and push for heavier truck weights nationwide.
  • The “state option” was tried once before and history reveals that it resulted in heavier trucks in every state.
    • In 1974, trucking interests went to Congress and lobbied for bigger trucks as a state option.
    • Eight years later, in 1982, trucking interests came calling again and this time complained about several states not allowing 80,000 lbs. trucks.
    • As a result, Congress preempted states and increased weights to 80,000 lbs. in every state.

Both Law Enforcement Officers and Truck Drivers Consider Heavier Trucks More Dangerous

  • In a survey conducted by the Multimodal Transportation & Infrastructure Consortium, 20 of the 21 Officers who were interviewed indicated that longer and heavier trucks would be “more dangerous” because the additional length and weight would add “new factors to an already complicated chain of events.”
  • Likewise, surveyed truck drivers are consistent in their opinion that heavier and/or longer trucks impact safety. In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed believed that the increased use of 97,000-lb., six-axle trucks would negatively impact highway safety.

Truck Weight Fact Sheet – TSC 2017

 

Eno Transportation Weekly Guest Op-Ed: Don’t Let Safety Take a Back Seat to Special Interests

Deadly truck crashes happen every day on our roads and highways across the nation.

Unfortunately, this major public health and safety problem is worsening.

Since 2009, the number of truck crashes has shot up by 45 percent — resulting in a 57 percent increase in truck crash injuries and a 20 percent increase in truck crash fatalities. In 2015 alone, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes and 116,000 more were injured.

Congress would not tolerate this death and injury toll if it were occurring in any other mode of transportation. Our nation’s leaders certainly should not be considering any weakening of current truck safety protections to accommodate a few select industry members calling for even longer, heavier trucks.

One particularly divisive issue is a major national policy change that would increase truck lengths by at least ten feet. A handful of large trucking companies and shippers are advocating for a configuration commonly called “Double 33s” – which are two 33-foot trailers towed in tandem. Though being billed by proponents as a “small tweak,” this would amount to trucks on the highways potentially topping 90 feet long, which is equivalent to the length of an eight-story office building on wheels. These trucks At a hearing this week before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, the President and CEO of FedEx Freight Corporation testified in support of Double 33s. The written testimony argued that this increase in truck size would result in fewer trucks on the road.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

In the history of our country, every past size and weight increase has resulted in more trucks on our roads. Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study (DOT Study), any reduction in truck vehicle miles traveled would be wiped out within one year by increases and shifts in freight transportation. This change to national surface transportation policy would result in a major disruption in multi-modalism and diversion of freight from railroads that are often safer and more environmentally friendly.

The DOT Study’s technical reports also showed that a Double 33 is less safe to operate than the current configuration of Double 28s. These longer trucks require an additional 22 feet to stop, which will make collisions resulting from the truck striking another vehicle in the rear more likely and potentially more devastating.

Research also shows that double trailer trucks have an 11 percent higher fatal crash rate than single trailer trucks. Longer trucks take more time to pass, cross into adjacent lanes, interfere with traffic as well as swing into opposing lanes on curves and when making right-angle turns. These serious safety problems mean big trouble for those travelling alongside these huge trucks.

Supporters of Double 33s consistently cite dubious science, for which they footed the bill, which misstates and misrepresents the benefits of these longer configurations. False claims of Double 33s increasing safety and productivity are nothing more than a play for competitive advantage over the rest of the industry. Simply put, supporters of Double 33s are placing profits over people.

Consequently, there is a growing coalition of diverse voices opposed to increasing truck length. Families of truck crash victims and survivors, public health and safety organizations, truck drivers, law enforcement officials, first responders, short line and regional railroads, railway suppliers and contractors, and rail labor are united in staunch opposition to Double 33s.

Truck drivers and their representatives can speak firsthand to the difficulties of operating these massive rigs. Considering that the Department of Labor consistently ranks driving a truck as one of the ten most dangerous jobs in America, further imperiling their safety should be a non-starter. And, the public has spoken loud and clear in poll after poll that they oppose bigger trucks.

The aggressive push to mandate all states to allow longer, less safe trucks will impose significant hardship on the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Additionally, states have expressed serious concerns about being forced to accept Double 33s. Just last month, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which found that 20 percent of the nation’s highways had poor pavement conditions. Moreover, one in 11 of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $142 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis over the next 20 years to significantly improve conditions and performance. The aforementioned DOT Study recognized the adverse effects that Double 33s would have on our bridges, including a one-time cost of $1.1 billion to strengthen and replace more than 2,000 bridges.

This misguided policy proposal is nothing more than a corporate handout for a small segment of the trucking industry. It will endanger motorists and truck drivers, inflict more damage on our suffering infrastructure, preempt state laws throughout the nation, and it does nothing to improve freight efficiency. Lawmakers should be considering commonsense proposals to advance safety, not prioritizing the interests of a select few pushing Double 33s at the expense of public safety.

Link: https://www.enotrans.org/article/guest-op-ed-dont-let-safety-take-back-seat-special-interests/

Executive Director | Truck Safety Coalition
Public Affairs Manager | Truck Safety Coalition

Debra Cruz Letter to the Editor – The Monitor

After I survived a truck crash on Aug. 8, 2008, one of my goals became to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck crashes. Eventually, I began volunteering for the Truck Safety Coalition, a non-profit organization consisting of families of truck crash victims and survivors who also shared in my goal. Since then, I have been able to speak to the public and policy makers about ways to make trucking safer for everyone.

When I heard that state lawmakers were considering increasing truck weights, and that federal lawmakers might consider increasing truck-trailer lengths, I was compelled to speak out against both of these policies, which are premised on a false promise of fewer trucks. The fact remains: The number of trucks on our roads has increased following every past size and weight increase.

Allowing even heavier trucks will further damage our crumbling infrastructure, in particular — bridges, which our state has more of than any other state. Permitting Double 33s will also not enhance safety. In addition to elongating existing double configurations by 10 feet, Double 33s also take longer to break, have a wider turning radius, and are more likely to off-track at low speeds. In short, both policies will not make trucking safer, especially at time when trends indicate truck safety is in decline.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released figures for 2015 that shows there were 4,067 truck fatalities — a 20 percent increase since 2009. In Texas, the trends in truck safety are even more troubling. Between 1994 and 2015, the past four years have been the deadliest with regards to truck crashes.

Clearly, we need to be doing more to prevent truck crashes.

I have been meeting with elected officials in Texas to discuss my crash, in which my vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer, about how we can work together to make trucking safer. Had the truck in my crash been equipped with automatic emergency braking, I might not have written this letter, or sustained life-long brain injuries.

Debra Cruz, Truck Safety Coalition, Harlingen

Link: http://www.themonitor.com/opinion/letters/article_b2380214-f4a9-11e6-a76f-d352f30ef392.html

Recent FedEx Crashes

We wanted to bring to your attention several disturbing crashes that have occurred recently. There are several contributing factors that caused these crashes, such as double tractor-trailers, fatigue, and failure to stop in time. But all of these crashes share one thing in common – a FedEx truck was involved.

Pennsylvania: FedEx truck hits Wayne Valley H.S. school bus on class trip to Dorney Park

http://newjersey.news12.com/news/fedex-truck-hits-wayne-valley-h-s-school-bus-on-class-trip-to-dorney-park-1.11886818

Texas: I-30 Reopens After FedEx Truck Crashes, Spills Fuel

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/FedEx-Truck-Crashes-Shuts-Down-I-30-in-Dallas-381080171.html

California: 1 Dead, 4 Injured in Interstate 5 Crash Near Coalinga

http://abc30.com/news/1-dead-4-injured-in-interstate-5-crash-near-coalinga/1327088/

Mississippi: FedEx [double trailer] truck involved in Highway 78 crash

http://www.wdam.com/story/31961768/fedex-truck-involved-in-highway-78-crash

California: CHP Details Deadly Big Rig Crash on I-10 in Cabazon (FedEx double tractor trailer)

http://patch.com/california/banning-beaumont/least-one-killed-cabazon-big-rig-crash-i-10-chp-0

Tennessee: FedEx [double tractor trailer] driver issued fatigue citation after 8-vehicle crash on I-24

http://wkrn.com/2016/05/05/crash-on-i-24-w-near-ohb-causing-significant-delays/

Texas: 18-wheeler crash shuts down I-35 in Salado (FedEx double tractor-trailer)

http://www.newswest9.com/story/31556016/18-wheeler-crash-shuts-down-i-35-in-salado

Tennessee: Answers sought after FedEx [double trailer] truck captured swerving for 60 miles on I-40 (no crash, but watch video)

http://wkrn.com/2016/06/08/answers-sought-after-fedex-truck-captured-swerving-for-60-miles-on-i-40/

One Person Dead and Four Injured in a Truck Crash in Isle of Wright County, VA

On May 19, 2016, at approximately 8:00 a.m., Annie Mae Eley, 86, was a back seat passenger in a Pontiac. The vehicle stopped at a red light in northbound VA Route 32, when the Pontiac was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer. The impact caused a chain reaction crash involving four vehicles.

Ms. Eley was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center, where she succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash. Four other victims suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The truck driver was not injured. He was charged with reckless driving and other charges may be pending. The crash is under investigation by the Virginia State Police.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Bigger, heavier trucks are more likely to be in a crash, more likely to cause damage to our roads and bridges, and more likely to result in an injury or death.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                               WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Runner hit by a flying tire in Dade County, FL

On May 23, 2016, approximately 7:30 a.m., a truck driver was driving a tractor-trailer on the Rickenbacker Causeway, when two tires (each weighing more than 200 pounds) came off the truck. One tire went into a parking lot. The other tire bounced across several lanes of traffic and struck two runners jogging on the opposite side of the causeway.

One of the two runners was Stephanie Hilzinger, 40, who was knocked unconscious. She was running with her fiancé, Fernando Munoz, also in his 40s, who suffered cuts and bruises.  Ms. Hilzinger was transported to Ryder Trauma Center where she is in ICU with serious injuries

Initially, the truck driver was unaware of the circumstances. He was flagged down by another motorist and returned to the scene. The crash is under investigation by the Miami Police Department.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                               WE ARE HERE TO HELP

 

Three People Dead and a Child in Critical Conditions due to a Truck Crash in Montgomery County, TX

On April 23, 2016, at approximately 11:00 a.m., a truck driver driving an 18-wheeler was on Texas 105 near South Walker Road when traffic slowed down due to a slow moving convoy. He failed to slow down and crashed into the back of a Mercedes Sedan. The impact forced the Mercedes into the back of Cadillac Sedan. A total of four vehicles were impacted in the crash.

Two people died at the scene. Both victims were identified as Eric Shirley, 57, and his passenger, Doris Moorer, 76. A mother, identified as Jennifer Crain, 31, and her son were taken to Conroe Regional Medical Center. Ms. Crain succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. Her son was transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for treatment of critical injuries.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the truck driver failed to control his speed before crashing into four vehicles. The truck driver was charged with three second degree felony counts of intoxication manslaughter and one felony count of injury to a child. The crash is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The current federal weight limit for a large interstate truck is 80,000 pounds, but for some states, there are exemptions and permits allowing even heavier trucks to travel on our roadways. Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 injured in large truck crashes every year in the United States and a portion of the preventable fatal crashes involve underride.

To find more information please visit the website: www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org.

                                                            WE ARE HERE TO HELP