Higher Speed Limits for Trucking
There are many dangers of the road that we are all aware of every time we get behind the wheel. Anything like a flat tire, an inattentive driver, weak brakes, drunk drivers, or even a loose oil filter can become dangerous, given the right (or wrong) situation.
It’s borderline impossible to know every single danger that faces drivers, but one of the most often-overlooked ones is tire speed ratings and limitations.
If you were to ask around, the average citizen would likely have absolutely no idea what speed their tires were rated for, let alone even what a speed rating is. Once you learn what it is, however, and how crucial a factor it is, it is hard to forget.
Essentially, tires are rated for a maximum sustained speed. In other words, if you exceed the rated speed for an extended length of time, the tires will reach unsafe temperatures, and are liable to shred or explode. Most drivers do not have to worry too much about this, since pretty much all passenger vehicle tires available for sale can safely handle speeds in excess of 100.
Truckers, however, are a different story. Almost universally, truck tires are rated for a maximum sustained speed of 75 mph. Up until several years ago, this was not a problem, as trucks could never legally go faster than 65 or 70. Recently, though, a dozen or so states have increased their speed limits to anywhere from 75 to 85.
This has already led to problems for some truckers who were unaware of the danger, as at least 16 complaints of speed-related tire failure have been examined, and at least 3 crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that the truck drivers themselves were responsible for not understanding the limits of their tires, and stopped investigating.
Trucking companies are now lobbying to either have the overall speed limit lowered so as to prevent temptation for truckers, or to have a maximum truck speed limit imposed instead. The response from lawmakers has led some to believe that they were unaware of the potential dangers when they imposed the raised speed limit, but now that they know, action will be taken.
For ’09 through ’13, nearly 16,000 people were killed in truck-related accidents, and the last thing we need is for that number to rise.
Please be aware of the dangers before heading out on the road, and always pay full attention. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a semi truck, do not hesitate to get in touch with a skilled attorney today.