Within the legal circle of attorneys who defend the rights of those injured and killed in truck accidents, there has long been a concern about the steady rise in speed limits for big trucks. In recent decades they have climbed from 55 mph to 75 mph, as some states are even considering raising limits to 80 and 85 mph. The crucial factor that has long been ignored by legislatures and governing bodies is that now trucks are driving faster than their tires can handle. That’s a massive safety risk.
Driving Faster than Tire Rating is Dangerous
Even truck drivers and owners of trucking companies are concerned by the disconnect between the increasing speed limits and the limits of truck tires. In a statement to the Associated Press (in an article written by Tom Krisher), the owner of a California-based trucking company expressed deep fears about the problem. “It’s a recipe for disaster,” said James Perham, president of Extreme Transportation Corp. According to the AP, Extreme Transportation Corp. suffered seven tire blowouts which caused approximately $20,000 – $30,000 in damage to its trucks and tractor trailers.
Tire Failures Can Be Deadly
While tire failure is not a leading cause of truck accidents, tires were a factor in more than 200 deaths between 2009 and 2013. According to statistics from by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck tires were a factor in 198 crashes and 223 deaths. (On the NHTSA site, there is also news about the latest recalls on tires.)
A Call for Greater Tire-Rating Awareness
It was shocking to read in the AP story that many legislators and state regulators where highway speed limits for trucks were passed were not aware of the limitations of tires in connection with the speed limits. More must be done to to ensure that those responsible for regulating the safe travel of these big trucks on our roads do so from a position of knowledge and understanding – and not of ignorance.
As a member of the National Advisory Board of APITLA and of the Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, I will certainly be raising this important issue with my colleagues and our contacts in government.
Helping Those Injured by Tire Failure
As a truck accident attorney, I have committed myself to helping those who have been wrongly injured or killed by the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident caused by tire failure, or for any other reason, I welcome you to contact me to discuss your case. I can be reached on 1-877-936-7200 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AP recently published a news article about this same topic: Big rigs often go faster than tires can handle