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High speed limits may increase Virginia truck accidents

Being involved in a Virginia car accident is a traumatic experience, but becoming a victim of a tractor trailer accident can prove extremely harrowing. Many Manassas residents have likely experienced driving down a highway or interstate and seeing a tire on a semi-truck blow-out. A tire-related tractor trailer accident can have serious repercussions for both the driver inside the truck, as well as for other vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, a new report indicates that accidents related to semi-truck tire blowouts are increasing.

According to federal investigators, higher speed limits on many interstates are to blame for a disturbing number of truck accidents. From 2009 to 2013, there were 14,000 deadly wrecks caused by buses and large trucks. Government data show that over 220 of the fatalities involved the heavy tires on such trucks. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation revealed that tire maintenance and high speed limits were behind several blowouts of Michelin tires.

Speeding is the cause of numerous car and truck accidents, but consistent traveling at high rates of speed, even within the posted limit, may be behind many tire-related incidents. The reason why is because most truck tires are not built to deal with constant speeds of over 75 mph. However, many states have speed limits at or around that speed. In addition, truckers regularly exceed the posted limit anyways, making traveling tough on their tires.

States' high speed limits pose a danger even in other states, since worn-out tires routinely crisscross the country. In addition, according to the executive vice president of the American Trucking Association, a truck's required stopping distance changes dramatically from 65 mph to 75 mph. With either worn-out tires or an inability to stop without a long distance, trucks can be a safety hazard barreling down the highway. While truck accidents will likely never disappear completely, it is critical for truck drivers, truck companies and tire companies to put safety first and avoid damaging negligence.

Source: CBS News, "Deadly big rig-related accidents on the rise," April 1, 2015

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