Truck accidents are among the most devastating events on our roads, caused by fatigued driving, poor maintenance and other forms of driver error. However, a new cause of truck accidents has become increasingly relevant, blowout accidents involving worn tires. Blowout accidents occur when trucks rapidly lose tire pressure, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had finished an investigation into blowout accidents involving Michelin tires used on large commercial trucks. Investigators were tasked with finding out whether the make of the tires or the drivers were to blame for blowout accidents. After the investigation concluded, it was found that driver speed was responsible for blowout accidents.
An NHTSA investigation of 16 blowout accidents found that driver speeds exceeding 75 mph strained the tires to a breaking point. Due to the high speeds of such a heavy vehicle, friction and heat can quickly wear down the tires on commercial trucks.
Speeding has always been seen as a contributing factor in many truck accidents, but tire integrity had never been thoroughly investigated. According to the NHTSA, between the years of 2009 and 2013, there were 14,000 fatal truck accidents, and 223 of those were related to truck tire failure.
Many highways and interstates throughout the nation have speed limits exceeding 75 mph. In some cases, speed limits are above 80 mph. This can be a danger to New Jersey motorists, as many commercial trucks passing through the state are arriving from states that have high speed limits. In total, there are 14 states that allow speed limits of 75 mph or greater.
How Can Blowout Truck Accidents Be Avoided?
The NHTSA and other safety advocates are arguing that speed-limiting devices on commercial trucks could stop blowout accidents from speeding. A few commercial carriers already have speed-limiting devices that disable speeds above 65 mph, but for the ones that do not, a mandatory requirement could prevent further blowout accidents.
Commercial truck tires that can handle higher speeds have also been proposed, but some companies already manufacture tires that can handle speeds of 81 mph. In addition, there are other reasons speeding can put drivers in danger.
Truck accident survivors and family members who have lost loved ones can file lawsuits to hold negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable. Contacting an attorney can help survivors discover new options.
Spevack Law Firm – Middlesex County Truck Accident Attorneys
Did You Know? According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study, 23 percent of truck accidents were caused by speeding.