Tractor trailer accidents are some of the most deadly accidents on our roadways. These massive
semi-trucks can absolutely destroy small passenger cars, seriously injuring or killing
the families inside. For years we have known that issues like driver fatigue
and insufficient training can contribute to these accidents, but now another
cause has become apparent. The truck drivers are driving too fast for
the tires they are using.
Truck Tires Cannot Withstand the 75 mph Speeds
CBS News reports that big-rig tire-related accidents are on the rise because the tires
on the trucks cannot withstand 75 miles-per-hour speeds, yet truck drivers
are driving that fast. Between 2009 and 2013 there were 223 fatalities
that were caused by issues with heavy truck tires. A
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into some of these blowouts found that high speeds
and a lack of maintenance were to blame. According to NHTSA there are
not any big truck tires that are rated to exceed speeds of 81 miles per
hour, and most of them are rated at 75 miles per hour. Because sixteen
states have truck speed limits that are greater than or equal to 75 miles
per hour many truck drivers are exceeding the speeds for which their tires
Did the Industry Knew About the Problem?
The American Trucking Association (ATA) told CBS that it has been warning
of these dangers for years. The president of the ATA says that the industry
has been asking the federal government to require the use of electronic
devices that would cap trucks’ speed at 65 miles per hour. If the
industry was widely aware of this serious problem but did nothing to prevent
drivers from exceeding the capabilities of their tires, then they may
very well be liable for injuries caused by this behavior. It is unclear
whether the drivers themselves would have had any reason to know about
this issue. Right now there are not specific requirements that tire labels
include a tire’s maximum safe speed. However, NHTSA is taking steps
to modify the standard label on tires so that this information will be
easily available and obvious to truck drivers in the future.
It is also worth considering this information in light of the other issues
that often come up in truck accident cases. We know that many truck drivers
are under incredible pressure to cover as many miles as possible as quickly
as possible. This pressure is a big contributor to driver fatigue which
is a serious cause of truck accidents. Just as this pressure causes some
drivers to skirt the rules when it comes to sleeping, it could also cause
some drivers to skirt the speed recommendations when it comes to safety.
When this happens, we are all at risk. That is why it is important to
hold the industry responsible for this practice and for any other practices
that put everyone on the roadway in danger.
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to an accident involving
a big rig, the experienced attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are
here to help you with your case.Contact us today for a free consultation.