Industry Group Seeks Greater Limitations on Top Speeds for Big Rigs
Industry leaders are taking steps to reduce a danger introduced to America’s roadways by tractor trailers. The American Trucking Association is presently lobbying the United States Department of Transportation to put a rule in place that would require the installation of electronic speed-limiting devices on big rig trucks. Approximately 70% of all heavy-duty trucking companies currently install speed limiting devices on their big rig trucks. This leaves 30% of all big rigs on the road capable of traveling at a speed at which their trucks are simply not designed to travel, posing a lethal threat to themselves and others.
The requested rule change comes in the wake of recent reporting that nearly all big-rig tires are not designed to travel over 75 mph. Driving over this speed in a big rig can generate excessive heat, damaging the tires’ rubber and leading to possible destruction of the tire. In 14 states, speed limits for drivers are set at 75 mph or above, and in parts of four of those states, speed limits are set at 80 mph and above. Speed limits for big rig trucks, in particular, are set at 80 mph or higher in three states, with other states looking to raise their speed limits soon. States have the power to individually set their speed limits, and most do not consult tire manufacturers or trucking groups prior to setting their speed limits. Most big rig tires are rated to be safe when traveling up to 75 mph, and there is no heavy truck tire that is rated to travel in excess of 81 mph.
Accidents related to heavy truck tires are growing, most likely due to increasing speed limits on highways and freeways. Of the 14,000 fatal accidents tied to heavy-duty trucks and buses occurring between 2009 and 2013, resulting in some 16,000 fatalities, 198 crashes and 223 fatalities were related to big truck tires.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a big rig, you know how dangerous they can be. These cases involve special legal concerns beyond those of a passenger car accident, and hiring an attorney is often the wisest course of action to secure the most compensation. Contact a truck accident attorney at Farmer Legal, PLLC for a free consultation at (804) 325-1441 for assistance with your tractor trailer accident in and around Central and Southwest Virginia.