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California Raises Weight Limit on Big Rigs

Truck Drivers Raise Concerns About Increasing Weight Limit 

The weight limit for big rigs has been raised in California in an attempt to free up delivered products clogging the ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement of the weight limit increase from 80,000 pounds to 88,000 pounds recently. However, this announcement concerns some truck drivers.

Experienced Truck Driver Says Increased Weight Limit Can Slow Braking

One trucker has been driving for 12 years and says the brakes on a big rig take about five seconds to even begin working. He says it still makes him nervous even after all these years of driving a big rig that weighs 80,000 pounds. The truck driver says he hauls goods from gravel and sand to the removal of fire debris. He says the lag in braking can be unnerving, especially when traffic is heavy, and believes that increasing the weight limit an extra 8,000 pounds means the big rigs will require even more time to stop.

Inexperienced Truckers May Risk Safety

The experienced driver said he realizes the ports are seriously backed up, and an increase in the weight limit would help. However, he points out that a lot of drivers don’t have as much experience as others, and increasing the weight limit might risk motorists sharing the roadway.

Safety Is a Major Concern

Another trucker who’s been driving for about six years and hauls loads locally or to the Midwest isn’t interested in the backlog. He said the issue doesn’t concern money. It concerns people’s lives. He pointed out that his main goal was to work and make it home safely.

No Data on Weights Involved in Truck Accidents

Truck accident data hasn’t been updated in California since 2017. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation says there is no data system that monitors a truck’s weight when it is involved in an accident. However, transportation research provided by the University of Michigan found that truck-related deaths were linked to higher weights. 

Weight Increases Have Been Instituted During Emergencies

Weight increases for the goods being hauled by truckers isn’t that unusual. A number of states increase the weight limit during emergencies such as hurricanes. Some states increased the weight limit for big rigs when the pandemic was at its highest. The problem is that with the truck driver shortage, there are many more inexperienced truckers on the road, and the test will come on whether they can safely handle a much heavier vehicle.

Injuries in an Accident With a Big Rig

Any accident that includes a big rig often results in serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one suffer an injury, you may be able to file a claim for compensation against the negligent driver or company. Because big rigs have to obey state and federal regulations and drive mandated hours in addition to the complexity of a large truck, asking the advice of an injury lawyer can be helpful in getting the compensation you deserve.

Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

My name is Ed Smith, and I’m a Sacramento truck accident lawyer. When you’ve suffered an injury due to a negligent driver or company that employs them, we have free and friendly advice to offer you on whether you can place a claim for compensation. Call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 or contact us online. We offer a free review of your case, can answer your questions about compensation, and tell you what options there are to recover damages. 

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My legal team and I have helped the people of Northern California get fair compensation for truck accidents, wrongful deaths, all kinds of car accidents, and in other cases since 1982.

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