Increasing Weight Limits to 100,000 Pounds on Maine Interstates Could Increase Trucking Accidents in Bangor

A fatal trucking accident in Maine claimed the life of a 12-year-old girl on a YMCA horseback riding trip.

The Boston Herald reports a tractor-trailer was hauling sawdust on Route 2 when it collided into the back of a YMCA minivan headed to Acadia National Park in Vermont. Two adults and two other teenagers were transported to a local hospital. The family mourns the death of the young girl, who by age 12 had already established herself as an environmentalist winning the top prize for her reusable pizza box invention at the Invention Convention in Storrs, Connecticut.
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Saving trees and global warming were two areas of interest for the young 12 year-old. The accident remains under investigation by Farmington police and State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit; the cause of the accident is still unknown.

Bangor car accident attorneys know that car collisions involving large trucks are not only dangerous because of the size of the truck but because many times they are transporting a load that can spill onto a roadway and make the situation that much more dangerous. Large trucking companies have a responsibility to hire reliable drivers and maintain their equipment. If you have been involved in an accident with a large truck, contact an experienced attorney to help you sort out who is at fault and to fight for the compensation that you deserve.

In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 21 fatal large truck crashes involving another vehicle in Maine. This equated to roughly 10 percent of total fatal accidents involving all vehicles for that year.

In the news recently was a legislative proposal by Senator Snow to permit large trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds access to all highways and interstates in Maine.

Truckinginfo.com reports that current legislation limits overweight trucks of more than 80,000 pounds to use secondary roads with the Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Augusta being the only exception. The Commercial Truck Safety Act of 2011 would make states more consistent in allowable weights. There are 27 states that currently allow loads up to 100,000 pounds to travel on interstate highways. Maine truck drivers either have to unload some of their cargo when transporting through the state or take winding roads which travel through small towns and create a safety hazard for rural communities.

A report by the Maine Department of Transportation last fall indicated several advantages to the new proposed legislation which include: improving the environment, reduce transportation infrastructure costs, making businesses more competitive, increasing traffic safety, and saving on fuel costs.

We’re not sure heavier trucks are the answer — certainly we question whether allowing heavier trucks on the road can be spun as a way to improve safety. But neither do we think having heavier trucks traveling secondary roads through small communities is a good idea.

Contact the experienced injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates if you or someone you know has been involved in a trucking accident in Bangor, Portland or the surrounding areas. Call 1-800-804-2004 to make a free appointment to speak to an attorney about your case.

Additional Resources:

Truck hits YMCA van in Maine, killing girl, by Associated Press, Boston Herald.com.

Snow Introduces Bill to Allow Trucks Over 80,000 Pounds, Truckinginfo.com.

Amtrak Sues Trucking Company for Maine Truck-Train Accident, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, August 11, 2011
National Program Aimed to Improve Rescue Time for Bangor Car Accident Victims, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, June 2, 2011.