Skip to main content

Truck length increased by Federal Highway Administration

By May 8, 2007July 18th, 2019Highway Safety, Trucking Regulations

The Federal Highway Administration 5,200 deaths from truck accidents loosened its length limitation on what truck drivers call “4-ways”, which is a slang term for trucks towing three other trucks in March 2007. Under the old regulation, the limit of 4-ways was 75 feet, but under the new regulations it is now 97 feet.
The Truck Safety Coalition has been pressuring the federal government to reduce the number of truck related deaths. Despite these deaths on the nation’s highways as a result of truck accidents, the 97 foot long truck combination was slipped through in the Congressional Highway Funding bill.
Prior to the Federal Highway Administration’s enactment of it, truck safety groups raised the obvious questions of the safety. Truck drivers testified to the agency stating that the new rule was absurd, and that even with 75 feet, a tractor trailer with three separate trailers were unstable and that the last trailer tends to sway back and forth.
Despite the opposition by truck safety groups, the Federal Highway and Transportation Administration published the rule allowing it and citing the studies from groups that say that safety concerns from the truck drivers are unfounded.
The next time you are driving down the highway and see a tractor trailer towing three separate trailers, 97 feet long, going 70-75 miles an hour, you can thank the trucking industry and its friends in congress who are more interested in profits than safety.