Large Truck Accidents On the Rise Due to Fault Tires
Over the past decade, speed limits for all vehicles—including large trucks—have steadily increased. While many drivers appreciate the faster pace, faster highways are leading to more large truck accidents due to tire blowouts.
As the speed limits have risen from 55 miles per hour to 65, 70, even 85 miles per hour in some parts of Texas, the construction of these vehicle’s tires has not kept pace. When the limits on these tires are exceeded, the tire sustains damage, wear, and stress. The increased stress can lead the tire to literally explode, sending pieces of tread across the road and possibly causing the driver to lose control.
All tires are rated for a certain level of pressure at a certain speed. Tires for large vehicles like semi-trucks have to carry vehicles which weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These tires are under an enormous amount of pressure, and as a result, cannot be driven as fast as other vehicles without damage.
Most commercial truck tires are rated for up to 75 miles per hour. When the speed limit for commercial trucks is at or near this limit, drivers may be tempted to go faster than their tires can handle.
According to the NHTSA, truck tire failure was a contributing factor in 198 crashes and 223 deaths between 2009 and 2013. While this number may seem low, it is expected to rise with the speed limits. Additionally, even the trucking industry is concerned that rising speed limits are becoming a problem for the industry. Trucking companies can sustain thousands of dollars in damage to their trucks and the loads that they carry even when a blowout does not cause an injury.
Regulators in the transportation industry have urged trucking companies and legislatures to learn about the importance of tire ratings before raising the speed limits for commercial vehicles. The NHTSA believes that the best way to curb the increasing problem of tire failure is to limit all commercial trucks to 75 miles per hour until tire manufacturers can resolve the problem. So far, the NHTSA’s suggestion has gone unheeded.
When a tire blows out due to a driver’s negligence, people who were injured in that accident may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages. Injured people may be able to recover damages for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs.
To learn more about your rights and options after an injury, schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at The Linebaugh Law Firm today by calling (281) 422-0505.