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Speed limits impact truck safety for more than one reason

One interesting fact in the trucking industry is that the tires used on nearly all large trucks are designed to withstand no more than 75 miles per hour on a routine basis. Tires do exist which are able to withstand greater speeds, but most trucking companies use standard wheels. This point is actually significant in terms of trucking safety because right now there are a total of 14 states which have speed limits at or above 75 miles per hour.

What does this mean in terms of highway safety? Nothing, necessarily, except that truckers often choose to routinely travel at top speeds limits, whether that is 75, 80 or even 85 miles per hour. When standard truck wheels are exposed to the stress of travelling at those rates of speed, the integrity of the rubber can become weakened and potentially lead to blowouts, which can cause accidents. 

When a multi-ton vehicle travelling that fast has an accident, that accident has the potential to be really bad. Motorists who get in the way can find themselves with serious injuries, if they are lucky enough to survive. Determining who is at fault for these accidents is not necessarily a straightforward matter, either. It is the trucker who sped, the trucking company which failed to equip the truck with a tire that has greater endurance? Is it state regulators who permit truckers to drive at speeds that could issues with wheel integrity? All three?

Trucking safety is a big area of concern nowadays, and wheel blowout is only one issue when it comes to trucking safety. Still, the situation will have to be addressed at one point or another before authorities responsible for overseeing highway safety can say they are doing everything they can to improve the safety situation surrounding large trucks. 

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