A decade ago, the maximum speed limit for vehicles on most highways was 65 mph. According to a new report by The Associated Press, many tractor-trailer tires are still designed to travel less than 75 mph and, now that the speed limits have increased nationwide, there are a number of truck drivers who are traveling faster than their tires can handle. There are even some states where the maximum speed limit has been increased to 80 mph or even 85 mph, which is far greater than many truck tires can handle.
When a truck driver exceeds 75 mph for an extended amount of time, it can create heat that damages their rubber tires. This has led to a number of tire blowouts and traffic accidents. Extreme Transportation Corp., for example, has filed complaints with regulations after they had seven blowouts of the Michelin tires they use on their rigs.
The Associated Press has exposed this disconnect between rising speed limits and safety standards that must be addressed before more blowouts occur. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently closed a case in which it determined that truck operators were at fault for blowouts and not tire manufacturers.
According to a recent WTOP news report, there were 14,000 fatal truck accidents between the years 2009 and 2013 resulting in the deaths of almost 16,000 people. Tires were a factor in 198 of those collisions, which resulted in 223 fatalities. It is unclear what actions will be taken to reduce the number of tire-related truck accidents.
Some are calling for manufacturers to make tires that can handle faster highway speeds. Others say that this will not help because so many trucks have speed governors that prevent them from traveling over 75 mph. Other determining factors in blowout crashes include road debris, under-inflation, and excessive loads.
If you are hurt because of a tire-related truck accident, it is important that you take swift action to protect your rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the considerable pain and suffering you have endured. Please contact the experienced Maryland truck accident attorneys at Alpert Schreyer to explore your legal rights and options.