The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports there were almost 3 million registered tractor-trailers in the US in 2020. Some of those were likely long-combination vehicles.
While California has many bustling highways and an extensive transportation network, it does prohibit long-combination vehicles on its roads. This ban raises questions about why such vehicles are not allowed in the state.
Safety concerns take center stage when examining the prohibition of LCVs in California. These vehicles use multiple trailers connected to a single truck. Their increased length and complexity make them harder to maneuver and control, especially in congested urban areas and on steep inclines or winding roads. By restricting LCVs, California aims to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure road safety for all motorists.
California has a longstanding commitment to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. LCVs, due to their larger size and weight, often have lower fuel efficiency compared to standard commercial vehicles. Allowing them on the roads could potentially contribute to higher fuel consumption and emissions, undermining the state’s efforts to combat climate change and improve air quality.
California’s roads and bridges have designs to accommodate vehicles of specific dimensions and weights. Introducing longer and heavier LCVs could lead to increased wear and tear on the infrastructure, resulting in higher maintenance costs for the state. By upholding the ban, California can better manage and maintain its transportation infrastructure, preserving it for the long term.
California’s prohibition on long-combination vehicles stems from a variety of reasons, and it is not the only state that prohibits these vehicles. The general consensus is the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to allowing LCVs.