Recent Oklahoma truck accidents have renewed the debate regarding tractor-trailer size and weight limits for Oklahomans. One of these was a big rig accident in Tulsa that involved the truck colliding with a bridge. The day after this accident, there was another tractor-trailer crash in Oklahoma City that was caused by a van that swerved into a tractor-trailer, which subsequently struck a bridge. The tractor-trailer was hauling volatile cargo which fortunately did not ignite. The driver of the van suffered the only injury and westbound traffic on the I-40 had to be shut down. These accidents, as well as a devastating one in Miami, Oklahoma, from 2009 in which a big rig plowed into a line of stopped cars at 70 mph, killing 10 people, demonstrate the safety issues involved with large and heavy trucks.
According to Tulsa World, the U.S. Congress is expected to decide between two opposing bills that would implement new laws concerning big rig size and weight limits. These bills are the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act, or SHIPA, and the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, or SETA.
The passing of SHIPA would keep current size and weight limits at up to 53 feet and 80,000 pounds, as well as expand the current national highway system ban on heavier trucks from the interstate highways to its entire 160,000 miles. SETA, on the other hand, increases size and weight limits for six-axle big rigs traveling on interstates within state boundaries. Its intention being to have less large trucks on the road but still transport the same amount of cargo.
There are many opinions concerning these two bills. Some believe that bigger and heavier trucks will cause more catastrophic accidents; others believe that safety would increase because there would be fewer trucks on the road. Regardless of which bill is passed, however, truck accidents will still occur and will unfortunately continue to cause serious injuries and fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a big rig collision in Oklahoma, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The skilled Tulsa truck crash attorneys at Maples Law Firm, LLP, will investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine the validity of your claim. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us at 1-888-226-6159 for a no-cost consultation.