I want to take some time today to bring to readers’ attention an organization with an important message for Oregonians: The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, or CABT. The CABT has won my support, because of the nuanced and thoughtful approach it takes to a problem that is especially significant in states like Oregon, where semi-truck accidents are a regular presence on our roads – especially in the rural east of our state. These trucks pose persistent problems, and have well-known safety issues. Yet left to their own devices truck owners and shippers are pressing for more and bigger trucks to be allowed on our roads, even on the small rural roads where they pose the greatest danger to other drivers.
As the organization’s website notes: “Semitrailer trucks play a vital role in the US economy and transportation system, but longer, heavier trucks endanger motorists, weaken our roads and bridges, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year in highway subsidies.” Simply put, CABT is not against trucks, but it is against allowing trucking companies to put ever-bigger, ever-more dangerous vehicles on our highways. It supports reasonable, common-sense regulations, something which regular readers will know I have always advocated in all of the areas covered by my practice.
The facts behind this campaign are compelling. According to CABT, federal government figures show that double and triple trailer trucks “could be expected to experience an 11-percent higher overall fatal crash rater than single-trailer combinations.” The organization notes that this figure is also backed up by private research. The group reports that larger trucks stand a significantly greater chance of tipping over because “heavier trucks tend to have a higher center of gravity because the additional weight is typically stacked vertically.”
As an Oregon truck accident lawyer I see all too often the terrible results that come from truck drivers being pushed too hard by shippers. Drivers spend too much time behind the wheel, often hauling loads that are too large in trucks that are unsafe. Please take a moment to look at the CABT website (link below) and learn more about this important issue.