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On any given day throughout the United States, there are thousands of large, heavy commercial trucks driving on thousands of miles of road. For the safety of other drivers on the road, it is imperative that trucks are maintained in good operating condition. For the most part, truck drivers operate and maintain their trucks properly. Too often, however, truck drivers and company owners fail to properly inspect and maintain their vehicles. When this happens, these improperly maintained trucks often cause accidents resulting in death.
One of the most common type of accident that occurs from failing to properly maintain a truck is a tire blowout. Truck tire blowouts are particularly dangerous because they often occur at high speeds on the highway without any warning or little opportunity for other drivers to avoid the tire debris.
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2003 (before tire pressuring monitoring systems were installed), an estimated 414 fatalities, 10,275 non-fatal injuries, and 78,392 crashes occurred annually due to flat tires or blowouts.
Most truck tire blowouts occur because someone did not properly maintain and inspect a truck. For example, common causes of truck tire blowouts include:
- Inadequate tread depth;
- Tire underinflation;
- Extreme climatic conditions; and
- Overloading a truck beyond the recommended weight.
Given the size and weight of trucks, it is especially important that trucks are maintained in good condition and regularly monitored. Unfortunately, truck drivers and owners often fail to take adequate care of their trucks, which can lead to deadly accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident, The Pearce Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights.
Possible Federal Regulations to Prevent Tire Blowouts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is tasked with addressing highway safety issues across the United States, recognizes that tire blowouts on large commercial trucks are a serious problem. In this regard, the administrator of the NHTSA has been pushing regulations that would require electronic speed limiters on big rigs. Large, heavy commercial trucks are not meant to be driven at high speeds, yet many states throughout the United States have truck speed limits of 75 or 80, or even 85 in Texas.
While the move to require speed-limiting devices has been discussed for years, an investigation by the NHTSA last year into the Michelin truck tire failures renewed the push. In the investigation, the NHTSA found that under-inflation of tires or heavy loads caused the accidents. The administration, however, believes that a more likely cause of the tire failures was that trucks were traveling at speeds higher than what the tires were designed for.
The Pearce Law Firm Can Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you understand your legal rights. At The Pearce Law Firm, our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys have extensive experience helping victims injured in truck accidents. We are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of truck accident victims in Philadelphia and throughout the state.
We want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact a truck accident attorney at The Pearce Law Firm for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. You can call us at (215) 557-8686 or visit our office at 14th Floor, 1429 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.