Tractor-Trailer Accidents Caused By Tire Failures Due To Excessive Speeds

Tractor-Trailer Accidents Caused By Tire Failures Due To Excessive Speeds

Tractor-trailer tires being operated at speeds that exceed their design limitations is causing an increasing number of catastrophic accidents. The increase in the allowable highway speed limits has resulted in many heavy truck tires being operated at speeds that are unsafe. Many truck tires were designed at a time when speed limits were much lower and the tires had a maximum sustained design limitation of around 75 miles per hour. Now many states, including Texas, have posted speed limits of 75, 80 and even 85 miles an hour. Operating truck tires at excessive speeds for an extended period of time caused excessive heat which degrades the tire more susceptible to blowouts, road hazards, a separation.

From 2009 through 2013 there were in excess of 14,000 fatal heavy truck and bus crashes in the United States which took 16,000 lives. The major truck tire manufacturers include Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama and Firestone with Michelin selling the most tires. The tire manufacturers blame the truck operators. The truck operators blame the tires as defective products. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) thus far has concluded that operating the tires in excess of the intended speeds is the culprit. No doubt both bear some portion of the responsibility.

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