Heavier Trucks Pose Greater Risks to Motorists, Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Says

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Brad T. Wyly of Houston’s Wyly Law Firm, P.C., says supporters of increasing federal weight limits on trucks are putting profits over safety.

Houston truck accident attorney, Harris County tractor trailer wreck lawyer, Galveston 18-wheeler crash lawsuit, personal injury, wrongful death, Texas, TX

Houston personal injury attorney Brad T. Wyly

Heavier trucks are deadlier trucks. The more weight a vehicle carries, the longer it takes to stop and the harder it is to control. That’s a recipe for violent, catastrophic crashes.

Houston truck accident attorney Brad T. Wyly said today that legislative efforts to allow heavier rigs on America’s highways could be dangerous for drivers.

Advocates pushing to raise the federal weight limit on trucks scored a victory last week after Congress approved requests from two states to allow heavier rigs on America’s highways, according to the Associated Press.

The official weight limit for trucks on interstates is 80,000 pounds. Trucks in Maine and Vermont will now be able to hit federal highways tipping the scales at up to 100,000 pounds. They will join 20 other states that have been granted similar exceptions from Congress.

“Heavier trucks are deadlier trucks,” said Wyly, whose Houston personal injury law firm represents clients who have been injured in truck accidents caused by negligence in Houston, Harris County, Galveston, Beaumont and throughout Texas.

“The more weight a vehicle carries, the longer it takes to stop and the harder it is to control. That’s a recipe for violent, catastrophic crashes,” Wyly said.

Nearly 3,400 people were killed and 59,703 people were injured in large truck crashes in 2009, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Texas has a poor track record itself. The most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that, in 2008, large trucks were involved in 421 fatal crashes on Texas roads, accounting for 10.4 percent of the nation’s deadly large truck crashes – the highest percentage in the country.

Proposals to increase the federal weight limit for trucks, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles to 97,000 pounds have been afoot since 2009.

Proponents say that allowing heavier trucks on interstates will have no negative impact on highway safety because there will actually be fewer big rigs on the road.

But that’s not necessarily true, according to Wyly.

“Trucking companies already place overloaded tractor trailers on the roads each day,” the Houston personal injury lawyer explained. “They are profit-driven entities who have economic incentives to have more goods delivered as quickly as possible and to keep as many trucks on the road as possible.”
Overloaded vehicles are responsible for thousands of truck accidents in the U.S. every year and pose various hazards to other motorists, Wyly said. Improperly secured loads can spill out onto roadways, and shifting cargo during transportation can cause rollover crashes. Overweight vehicles are also harder to steer and make swerving to avoid an obstacle difficult.

When truck accidents happen, the consequences are often tragic, noted Wyly. Crashes involving CMVs often cause some of the most devastating and long term injuries, such as brain trauma, spinal cord injuries and neck damage.

“Many times the worst of the injuries are suffered by the occupant of another vehicle or pedestrian, not the truck driver,” said Wyly, pointing to the NHTSA’s estimate that three out of every four people killed in tractor-trailer wrecks are passengers in other vehicles.

People injured in truck accidents often incur hefty financial burdens stemming from medical bills, lost wages and having to pay for aides to perform everyday tasks while they are recovering, he said. Victims who survive with severe disabilities may have ongoing medical needs and require adaptive equipment, such as ventilators or wheelchairs, or even 24-hour nursing care.

“These are expenses that are physically, financially and emotionally draining on the injured person and her family,” Wyly said.

“I strongly encourage victims of Texas truck crashes or their families to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The courts award compensation to help victims cope with the economic burdens so that they can begin focusing on how to rebuild their lives.”

About Wyly Law Firm, P.C.

The Wyly Law Firm, P.C., is a Houston law firm that represents personal injury victims, including those injured in car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accidents, throughout Houston and surrounding communities, including Harris County, Baytown, Pasadena, Galveston, Beaumont, Bellaire, Cloverleaf, Spring Valley, Missouri City, Aldine and Jersey Village. The firm also handles insurance dispute, insurance claims, and business law issues and disputes. Attorney Brad T. Wyly, the firm’s founder, is a skilled negotiator and lawyer. Wyly has extensive experience in personal injury cases, including claims involving complex accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. He has been named a Rising Star in Law & Politics magazine. To contact Wyly Law Firm, P.C., call (713) 574-7034 or use the firm’s online form.

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