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Moves By Trucking Industry Could Mean Bigger Trucks in Virginia

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Moves By Trucking Industry Could Mean Bigger Trucks in Virginia

As personal injury lawyers who help people injured in trucking wrecks, we view a renewed push by the trucking industry that would see bigger trucks in Virginia with consternation.

People are already suffering terrible injuries from big rigs and losing their lives on Virginia interstates like I-81, I-64 and I-664.

If the thought of a big rig weighing up to 80,000 pounds wasn’t frightening enough, the trucking industry is seeking to increase the weight limit to 91,000 pounds.

Another lobbying group wants to increase the length of double-trailer trucks to 91 feet.

In the present climate of deregulation, these proposals have a better chance of becoming law and we may be seeing bigger trucks in Virginia.

We already know large truck crashes are more deadly than those involving smaller vehicles. In 2015, 3,852 people died in large truck crashes. Only 16 percent of them were occupants of the trucks. Almost 70 percent were in other vehicles and 15 percent were motorcyclists, pedestrians or cyclists. See our common causes of tractor-trailer accidents here.

bigger trucks in Virginia may become a reality

A big rig in Hampton.

The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks refers to limited Department of Transportation testing that suggested heavier trucks have 47 to 400 percent higher crash rates.

The report in 2015 recommended no changes to weight and size limits. It stated that longer double-trailer trucks take 22 feet longer to stop than twin-trailer trucks on the highway. Heavier trucks typically have a higher center of gravity because the extra weight is typically stacked vertically. Raising the center of gravity increases the risk of rollover accidents.

Big rigs can be particularly dangerous when drivers are drowsy or fail to slow down in time. Truckers are banned from mobile phone use under federal law but they do not always abide by the rules. Last year, a trucker was jailed for five years after admitting texting before a crash that killed five nursing students in Georgia.

Bigger Trucks in Virginia – The Implications

There are other concerns about bigger trucks in Virginia too such as the impact they will have on our highways in terms of wear and tear.

In Hampton Roads, trucks serve the Port of Virginia via busy urban streets like Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk and streets in Portsmouth.

The idea of even larger behemoths on the busy streets of Hampton Roads alarms me combined with moves by the trucking industry to relax the rules setting out the number of continuous hours that a truck driver is allowed to drive.

Bigger trucks in Virginia are likely to lead to more serious accidents If you or a loved one has been hurt in a wreck involving a commercial vehicle, please call us today at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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