According to a recent Texas Tribune article, state transportation officials have been discussing opening up select Texas highways to 18-wheelers that weigh above the 80,000 lbs federal limit.
Last month, it was revealed that Texas may launch a pilot program allowing trucks weighing up to 100,000 lbs to travel between Houston and Dallas. Texas already permits 18-wheelers to carry over 80,000 lbs–so long as they pay a fee. The new program would do away with that fee for certain highways.
The program comes in anticipation of an expansion of the Panama Canal set to be completed in 2015. Many expect that the larger canal will bring in more shipping traffic to Houston and proponents of the increased truck weight limits say that since ships can carry containers up to 97,000 lbs, trucks should be able to as well. They argue that large freighters would be more likely to dock in Houston if they didn’t have to repackage their goods to be transported over land.
Others say it’s not clear if the shipping companies would reroute from west coast ports just to take advantage of truck sizes.
Truck weight limits have been debated hotly for decades now. Proponents of increased weight limits say that it would mean fewer trucks on the road and less harmful emissions. Opponents say that larger trucks rip up roads faster and are more dangerous to drivers.
Larger trucks have more difficulty accelerating, turning and braking when they need to. Moreover, accidents involving 100,000 trucks are sure to be more serious and more deadly.
Whatever your stance on this issue, it’s important to exercise caution when driving around 18-wheelers. Truck drivers have larger blind spots than regular drivers and cannot maneuver as easily. Give trucks space (after all, they are much larger than you) and if you see a truck driving recklessly on one of our highways, report it.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident contact the Kyle Law Firm today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced Texas truck accident lawyers.