The government in Mexico has recently announced that it will lower the maximum cargo weight allowed for big rig trucks and will make inspection rules stricter. The move follows a number of high-profile double-trailer truck accidents in that country as well as protests over freight truck weights and regulations.
In Mexico City recently, independent truckers blocked off parts of highways to express their concerns over the very long commercial trucks and very heavy trucks that Mexico has been allowing. The truckers claimed that the larger vehicles are not safe and place independents truckers at risk since the larger trucks pressure independent drivers to overload their own trucks to compete. Independent truckers also allege that the larger trucks displace them and their safer, smaller trucks from business.
While the US allows trucks up to 40 tons (80 000 pounds) when fully loaded, Mexico has permitted commercial trucks of up to 80 metric tons. Some of these trucks are longer than 100 feet, which experts say places undue pressure on loads and creates many more blind spots for truck drivers, creating risks for accidents. The trucks are routinely overloaded, according to some industry experts in Mexico, and are used on secondary loads. The double trailer trucks have been linked to a number of truck crashes, including some collisions that have claimed lives.
The Communications and Transport Department in Mexico has announced that following concerns and a number of fatal accidents it was reducing maximum weights. Double trailer trucks will now be able to only operate on 15.5 mile (25 km) runs on secondary roads and the maximum weight of these trucks will be reduced by 4.5 tons. In addition, double wide trucks will need to be inspected within the next sixty days to ensure that they are safe. To permit better inspection and regulation of the trucks in the country, the Communications and Transport Department will increase the number of weigh-in scales in Mexico to 88 from the current 63 and will increase the number of inspectors by 14%. In addition, new rules will require drivers of double trailers to have documented proof of how much their freight weighs.
The changes in the industry may mean good things for the US. Since there has been some talk about permitting more commercial trucks from Mexico into the US, ensuring that the trucks are safe will go a long way towards ensuring that the trucks are safe when on US streets, as well.
The move may also help prove the claims that experts have been making when trying to reduce the number of Miami trucking accidents as well. Over the years, many experts have claimed that reducing the weight limit of commercial trucks would potentially reduce the number of Miami car accidents involving trucks. However, others have alleged that truck weight will not impact safety. The case in Mexico does give credence to the idea that heavier trucks may be a greater risk for Miami traffic accidents.
If you have been injured in a Miami truck accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case – before you make any decisions about your future. Your case may be worth more than you think and the costs of your injuries may be higher than you anticipate.