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Are heavy truck tires unfit for high speeds and causing crashes?

Ever been passed by a speeding big rig? On a rainy day, the splash of water left in the wake of a passing semi truck can seem almost blinding on the windshields of any passenger vehicles following behind. Yet even on a clear day, there may be a safety issue with speeding big rigs.

Specifically, a recent investigation found that a majority of heavy truck tires aren’t designed to exceed speeds above 75 mph. In fact, many heavy tire manufacturers may not even test their tires above that speed. However, 14 states now have speed limits at 75 mph or even higher. Since big rigs are used to transport interstate commerce, there’s a good chance that commercial and semi trucks traveling in Maryland may have passed through some of those speedier regions.

Unfortunately, tire manufacturers admit that driving tires above their speed ratings for long periods of time may increase the chances of an accident. The tires might heat up and blow out, for example.

If this report sounds like a recipe for a truck accident, federal authorities also agree. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind recently stated that regulations might soon be introduced that would require big rigs to install electronic speed limiters. 

The devastation and injuries that can result from a big rig accident can be catastrophic. If overturned, the sheer size of semis and other big trucks means that traffic can be stopped for hours, vehicles in the way might be crushed, and any drivers in those vehicles might suffer serious or fatal injuries. Yet filing a civil lawsuit after a commercial truck accident may also mean going up against the truck company. That, in turn, generally requires strong advocacy and an eye for strategic litigation. Fortunately, that’s exactly what our personal injury and motor vehicle accident law firm can offer.

Source: Associated Press, “Safety chief wants to cap big rig speeds to fix tire problem,” Meghan Barr and Tom Krisher, April 9, 2015

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