Truck accidents are a common occurrence on roadways throughout the United States. While many are caused by factors such as fatigue, inexperience and substance abuse, there is concern about big rig tires causing accidents and even fatalities. Excessive speed is causing these tires to blow out in high numbers, and many believe that increased maximum speed limits in some states are to blame.
Most semi truck tires are made to handle speeds of under 75 mph. While this may seem sufficient for a tractor trailer, some states – such as Texas, Wyoming and Utah – have speed limits of 80 or 85 mph. When trucks are driven at these speeds for excessive periods of time, the rubber on the tires becomes damaged and the result is a blowout. Approximately 223 blowouts occurred on U.S. highways between 2009 and 2013.
The problem lies in the fact that there is no truck tire that is rated higher than 81 mph, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While increasing the speed limit may seem like a good idea in theory, it’s causing the number of truck accidents to spike. Despite the speed limit, 70% of trucking companies enforce a 65 mph speed limit for drivers.
So, why don’t tire manufacturers design tires that can withstand the rigors associated with these increased speed limits? They have the opportunity to do so, but it’s not economically viable. Making tires with higher speed ratings involves retooling and redesigning, both of which cost money. With most trucking companies using speed governors on their trucks to regulate driver speed, it doesn’t make sense for commercial truck tire manufacturers to make tires with a higher speed rating.
Champion Law has a team of trucking accident attorneys who have handled over 100 truck accident cases. We have the experience and a team of experts to pursue any trucking accident injury claim, including tire defect, truck defect, inadequate maintenance or repairs, defective roadway design and more.