Your May 15 editorial "A Big ‘No' to Big: Congress Should Freeze Truck Weight Restrictions" contains falsehoods and errors propagated by anti-truck groups.
Contrary to the editorial, the University of Michigan study found that trucks above 80,000 pounds have a lower fatal accident rate than trucks of less weight. Truck weight is not a contributing factor in fatal accidents involving trucks. The study also confirmed that class of roadway was the leading factor in truck-involved fatal accidents. Interstates had the lowest accident rate and undivided roads had the highest rate. Freezing the current truck weight, as the editorial supports, would increase accident risk by preventing states from moving heavier trucks onto roads with lower accident risk.
Also, there's absolutely no evidence of negative effects on handling when comparing five-axle, 80,000-pound trucks to six-axle, 97,000-pound trucks.
Additionally, the claim that one tractor-trailer is equal to 9,600 cars is absolutely false. There is no study that supports that claim. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a 97,000-pound truck with the required sixth axle will cause less pavement damage than an 80,000-pound truck. Increasing truck productivity will reduce the number of pavement interactions and lessen pavement wear.
As population and GDP increases, so will freight volume and the number of trucks needed to serve a growing population and economy. More productive trucks alleviate the need for capacity expansion, reduce fuel use and emissions, and lower costs to American manufacturers and consumers.
Director of Highway Operations, American Trucking Associations