Longer combination vehicles (sometimes referred to as "triples" or "turnpike doubles") are similar to a conventional 18-wheeler but instead of pulling one trailer it pulls two or more trailers. While legal in the United States, longer combination vehicles (LCVs) are restricted to less populous states such as Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. Other states such as New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Kansas, Ohio, and Indiana allow LCVs to operate on certain turnpikes and toll roads.
The trucking industry is pushing to grant LCVs access to more American roads, but several groups such as the Truck Safety Coalition have fought those interests, citing safety concerns of having even bigger trucks driving side-by-side with motorists throughout the country.
Safety Problems Related to Longer Combination Vehicles
- Rollover tendency
- Low speed off-tracking
- High speed off-tracking
- Braking performance
- Acceleration and speed maintenance
These safety problems have caused more accidents and more fatalities than the average single-trailer truck. Double-trailer trucks are 32% more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than single-trailer trucks. Double-trailer trucks are three times as likely to be involved in a highway accident.
Driving Longer Combination Vehicles
Driving a longer combination vehicle requires not only a commercial driver's license, but also a certificate of training. However, because they are more difficult to control and stop, many truck drivers are reluctant to drive LCVs. In fact, over 80% of drivers believe that LCVs are less safe than single-tractor trailers. Truck drivers say that when they are forced to make a sudden maneuver, the trailers can swing and cause the truck to rollover. Drivers also note that the last trailer tends to swing back and forth, even in good weather conditions when on a straight road. By and large, Americans agree that LCVs should not be allowed on more congested freeways. 82% of Americas says that sharing the roads with large commercial trucks makes the roads less safe.
If you have been involved in a truck accident with a single tractor 18-wheeler or a longer combination vehicle, contact a truck accident lawyer to learn about your right.