Longer Combination Vehicles:

Potential Infrastructure Impacts, Productivity Benefits, and Safety Concerns

T-RCED-94-306: Published: Sep 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 1994.

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GAO discussed the safety and economic impacts of longer combination vehicles (LCV) operations. GAO noted that: (1) expanded LCV use would increase infrastructure maintenance costs by up to $20.2 billion and would have the greatest impact on bridges, interchanges, and staging areas; (2) infrastructure maintenance costs could be limited by selecting LCV routes away from major population centers, but benefits would also be reduced; (3) nationwide LCV use could reduce transportation costs by about 3 percent and would benefit most large companies that consolidate shipments; (4) LCV are less stable than single-trailer trucks which makes them a greater safety risk on congested highways; (5) states have limited data and inspection programs to monitor LCV operations and may not recognize emerging problems; and (6) the Federal Highway Administration should include LCV driver qualifications in its motor carrier safety regulations.

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