Last week, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) announced that weight limits would be waived on commercial trucks carrying supplies and equipment which are aiding the “effort to prevent, contain, mitigate, and treat” the effects of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. This announcement came on the same day that the Trump administration nationally suspended an 82-year-old road safety law which prevents truckers from driving more than 11 hours in one day.
HOW THE MODOT WAIVER WORKS
The MoDOT waiver, which was implemented on March 13, is currently in effect through April 30 and only applies to vehicles traveling within the state of Missouri.
While this policy is in effect, truck drivers and companies must abide by the following guidelines:
- The gross weight of the truck’s load must be no greater than 10% above the gross licensed weight of the truck
- The vehicle’s tires must be rated to the gross loaded weight of the vehicle or heavier
- Drivers must obey all posted bridge weight limits and restrict their vehicle speed to no more than 30 mph when crossing
- Travel under this allowance is only allowed on non-interstate highways within Missouri
POTENTIAL DANGERS FOR DRIVERS
While allowing trucks to carry extra cargo is in many ways a boon because it allows more necessary goods to be distributed during this uncertain time, there are risks as well. More commercial trucks on the road carrying heavier loads can potentially lead to more accidents. Truck accidents are particularly dangerous for people in cars because of the large size and heavy weight of trucks; often, these accidents result in catastrophic injury and wrongful death for the people in the smaller vehicle.
While everyone should be practicing isolation and social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many people who have jobs in the service and medical industries must continue to commute work regularly.
The legal team at Sanders.Law advises drivers to take extra care during this time. If you must get on the road, be extra cautious during this time—an 88,000-pound truck cannot stop quickly! We continue to advocate for a safe community and hope that if you have to drive during this time you do so with the utmost care—the last thing you want is to have a personal injury case on your hands right now. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident and you need to speak with an attorney, our law office remains open and we are available to do consultations over the phone and via videoconferencing for ensured safety.
Call Sanders.Law at (816) 844-6938 or write to us online if you would like to speak with an experienced Kansas City truck accident attorney today.