When one thinks of large trucks and potential accidents, the connotations are generally on the idea of driving erratically, drug and alcohol abuse, or driving through some type of inclement weather. However, a new study indicates that driving faster than the truck’s tires are designed to handle promotes a very real and problematic threat.
According to a report released by the Chronicle, “Many tractor-trailers on the nation’s roads are driven faster than the 75 mph their tires are designed to handle.” This practice, according to the report, has flown under the radar of highway officials; that is, up until this point.
The research indicates that, in some of the cases, drivers are not outright speeding as sustained speeds differ in many different places. Typically, the research indicates, truck tires are built to sustain speeds of approximately 75 mph. In some cities, this is over the allotted 65 – 70 mph that is typically allowed. However, as mentioned, there are some cities in which the posted speed limits are actually 75, 80, or even 85 mph in several parts of Texas.
As one can imagine, this can be extremely problematic for both the potential for accidents caused by speeding in correlation for the inability of these tires to handle the higher speeds. According to James Perham, president of Extreme Transportation, which is an automobile hauling company, and as reported by the Houston Chronicle,
“It’s a recipe for disaster.”
Perham himself had to file a complaint with regulators after 7 blowouts in the company trucks caused approximately $20,000 to $30,000 worth of damage to the rigs. Although, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration closed the investigation regarding Michelin tires, after seeing that it was the truck drivers at fault, this investigation still underlined the fact that exceeding 75 mph was directly correlated to the crashes.
There remains little doubt that these truck crashes can lead to considerable damages, but one most also consider what this means in terms of accidents that cause injuries or even loss of life as well. According to the report, in 2009 forty individuals died due to truck tire-related crashes, and this number increased sharply to 52 in 2013 alone. There are equally predications made that this number may continue to increase as more trucks begin to transport more goods across the American highway system.
This potential increase can also be contributed to the fact that truck drivers go above the recommended tire speed limit, partially because there are posted speed limits allowing them to do so. For example, along Texas Highway 130 the speed limit is 85 mpg for big rigs. As noted by Perham earlier, this could very well be a recipe for disaster as this is against the recommendation that may tire manufacturers make when it comes to big rigs and the considerable wear and tear that is imposed on tires.
As a whole, although no current legislation is in place to change these speed limits, it is still imperative that truck drivers exercise caution and take stock of the recommendation speed of the tires.
Contact the Houston truck accident law firm for a no obligation consultation on a serious injury 18-wheeler wreck.
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