THE REASON WHY TRUCK CRASHES ARE RISING MIGHT SURPRISE YOU
March 21, 2017
If you’ve ever found yourself behind a tractor-trailer as it’s lost its tire, then you’re probably aware just how quickly it can impact the trucker’s ability to not only control the truck, but maintain momentum as well. That being said, tire blowouts are shown to be increasingly responsible for fatal collisions among truck drivers.
When it comes to truck tires, it’s thought that an increase in blowouts has to do largely with truckers themselves working harder to get their jobs done within an allotted time frame. To do so, many truckers are maintaining their speed at more than 75 mph, well beyond the maximum, constant speed truck tires are built to withstand.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that in between 2009 and 2013, more than 14,000 fatal crashes were shown to have been caused by either heavy trucks or buses. Of those, 223 were found to have had something to do with problems with the truck’s tires, with multiple cases involving Michelin ones blowing out.
Poor tire maintenance and/or driving at a high rate of speed are also thought to be contributing factors to increased tractor-trailer fatality rates. As for speed, increases in speed limits across several states are pinpointed as causing the uptick in traffic-related deaths.
If this is case, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to most. The NHTSA maintains that, in its experience, truck tires are only rated to withstand 75 mph, with 81 mph being the maximum. That being said, more than 16 states have speed limits posted at either equal to or greater than 75 mph, with four going as high as 80 mph.
The statistics also don’t come as a surprise to the American Trucking Association. They’ve long known about them and have have been actively attempting to warn state Department of Transportation officials about the risks associated with raising speed limits for years. Despite efforts to lobby the federal government to use electronic limiters to regulate truck speed, such pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Of the trucking companies who do use electronic limiters on their trucks, they are at 70 percent. They allow drivers to top out at 65 mph. The other 30 percent go unregulated. If you or someone you know has been injured in a wreck with a tractor-trailer, a Kentucky truck crash attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.
Source: CBSNews.com, “Deadly big-rig accidents on the rise,” accessed March 09, 2017