Thirty-nine states have angered truck companies by not allowing them to double the number of trailers they can attach to their tractors. Current data disproves any notion that double trailers are even as safe as singles. Allowing corporations to double their loads would be putting profit over human life.
So, trucking companies and huge corporations that use giant tractor-trailers are complaining that 39 states are not allowing them to increase the length of the trailers they pull to eleven feet by attaching two 33 foot trailers to each tractor. Moreover, instead of one articulating point, there would then be two. Wow! What could possibly go wrong with that?
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of travelling behind a big-rig on a windy day knows the exciting site of the tractor moving with the wind–a sort of trailer side-to-side dance that causes every other driver concern. Now imagine that a second trailer is hooked up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the trailers will move much more dangerously, especially because they will have that second moving point. God forbid that they get somehow out of sync, and start moving each other ever more violently until one or both go over.
Also, imagine the pure sport of it: no longer would one have a mere 53 foot long trailer to contend with as it maddeningly grinds its way up a grade, or slides around on wet or icy roads. The challenge of passing will swellto about 84 feet; quite a huge distance one must navigate to pass one of these road behemoths.
But, one might reasonably say: surely the studies being put forward by the corporations and trucking companies must definitively show that they are at least as safe as singles. Reasonable, but wrong. Apparently there are no studies at all to support safety in the use of double long trailers.
What information we do have is that apparently these big-rig trains have an 11 percent higher accident rate than singles! Some statistics show that about 4,000 people die in big rig crashes every year, and about 100,000 are injured–most of these people being in passenger cars. Just think: about 44 more deaths and 11,000 more injuries every year! This, it seems, is the price the public is expected to pay to increase the profits of the corporate proponents of double trailers.
It is easy to see why profits will soar: one driver for two loads. I strongly suggest that the calculation of nearly double profit at a cost of thousands of injuries and deaths is a lousy bargain, if one considers public health and safety as a rational, if not vital, part of the equation.