According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 14,000 fatal truck and bus accidents between 2009 and 2013, which killed a total of 16,000 people. These accidents naturally occurred for a variety of reasons, with a relatively small number of 198 accidents being caused by issues with tires.
Tire blowouts are not a particularly prominent cause of truck accidents, but the issue is serious enough that the NHTSA recently conducted an investigation of a number of accidents involving trucks equipped with Michelin tires. The agency found that the most probable cause of all 16 accidents was that the drivers were exceeding the speed recommended by the tire manufacturer—75 miles per hour.
Most tires used in the trucking industry are engineered to withstand routine speeds of 75 miles per hour or less. When truckers speed or legally travel at a speed higher than that, the integrity of the rubber can fail and cause a blowout. Accidents can be serious and put lives at risk.
Determining who is at fault for these accidents is not always easy. Right now, 14 states have speed limits which are at or above 75 miles per hour. Should regulators be responsible for limiting the speed of large trucks or should the trucking industry be responsible for stocking trucks with wheels which can withstand higher speeds?
However you answer this question, victims of truck accidents caused by tire blowouts have the right to be compensated. Seeking the help of an experienced personal injury attorney ensures that victims’ rights are protected and their interests advocated in their case.