Here in Texas, everything is bigger. We like our steaks rare and our trucks big. Some people take this philosophy to the extreme, installing lifts that would rival the monster trucks we see in the arena. What are Texas lift laws, and do these “monster trucks” present a health hazard to other drivers on the road?
Lift Laws in Texas
Texas is a state that is generally lenient when it comes to the law. After all, how many other places in the United States can you own a pet tiger? The law regarding lifts is no exception. In the Lone Star State, there are no restrictions as to what an individual can attach to a car. Citizens are free to install lift kits and after-market wheels, as well as grill guards, performance shocks, and after-market bumpers. When it comes to customization, the sky’s the limit (in the case of lifts, quite literally).
That’s not to say that auto laws are completely, well, lawless. Texas does mandate dimensions for residential vehicles. According to Texas law, the dimensions of a vehicle are not to exceed 13.5-feet tall or 45 feet long. For reference, your average semi-truck measures 14 feet tall and 48 feet long. So, without a commercial license or training, you can legally drive a vehicle that’s roughly the same size as a tractor-trailer (which also requires a special license).
This lack of restriction is a cause for concern for some residents. Lifted cars can be dangerous, especially if you’re driving behind them.
The Dangers of Lifted Trucks
A collision with a lifted truck could prove deadly for some motorists. Imagine the devastation of crashing with a semi-truck – that’s the kind of damage you can expect from a lifted vehicle. But with lift kits, the danger is a little different.
If you’ve ever seen or been to a monster truck rally, you know that one of the main events is a truck stream rolling over a line of cars, leaving destruction in its wake. In a crash with a lifted car, this show of force can become a terrifying reality. Lifted cars have the potential to run right over smaller vehicles in the event of a high-speed accident. According to Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety, occurrences like these have been reported across the nation.
Lifted trucks also present a danger to those driving in them. Trucks and SUVs already present a rollover risk because of their high center of gravity. Once you add a lift kit, that rollover risk amplifies considerably. According to tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the simple act of adding a passenger to a lifted truck can nearly double the risk of rollover.
There are other concerns, as well. Installing larger tires than factory recommendations increase a car’s stopping distance. In an emergency, these tires are more likely to result in a crash.
Have You Been Injured by a Lifted Truck?
In the event of a crash with a lifted truck, the injuries can be extensive. Broken limbs, abrasions, whiplash, and emotional trauma are just a few of the possibilities. If you’ve missed time from work and are facing mounting medical bills because of a vehicle crash, we’re here to help.
Meet with a member of our legal team in a risk-free case evaluation. We’ll review the specifics of your case and help you decide your next steps. To schedule your initial consultation or ask us further questions about our personal injury services, please contact us. We’re committed to getting you the compensation you deserve and have been helping Texas residents with their personal injury cases for decades.