The massive size and high travel speed of 18 wheelers can make them a menace on the highway. At a weight of approximately 40 tons, they are about 16 times as heavy as your car or pickup truck. Recent articles in The Washington Post and on CBS News reported findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The reports confirm that 18 wheeler tires are unsafe at speeds higher than 75 miles per hour. Drivers who exceed the safe driving standards of their tires can create accidents that involve you. When that happens, it is important to contact a Houston accident injury attorney to protect your legal rights.
Recognizing the Risks
Drivers who exceed their tire speed ratings are not always breaking the law, but they are creating hazardous conditions on highways by doing so. Even when a state’s speed limit is 85, drivers of 18 wheelers must understand that their tires cannot function safely at that speed. A common result of exceeding a tire’s speed rating is a blowout, making it difficult for an 18 wheeler’s driver to control their vehicle. Wrecks frequently occur when a driver is unable to bring a vehicle to a safe stop. Studies by NHTSA show that it takes 277 feet to stop an 18 wheeler traveling at only 60 mph, including the distance traveled while the driver starts to brake.
The recent CBS News article cites the increase in fatal accidents involving 18 wheel rigs, stemming from excessive speeds that put sustained stress on tires. When a tire blows out, it may result from poor maintenance as well as from high speed, according to data from NHTSA. By neglecting to properly maintain tires or to observe their speed ratings, 18 wheel rigs can cause life changing consequences.
Defending Your Rights
18 wheelers accident lawyers understand the damage that they can cause. Accidents take away important things that belong to you, including your health, ability to work and your peace of mind. To help you get the compensation that you deserve, a truck accident attorney has the experience to defend your rights against the legal teams trucking companies have available to them. Filing a Houston auto accident lawsuit gives you the opportunity to claim compensation for your injuries and losses. A careless act by an 18 wheel driver can change your life and your financial future forever. Compounding risks by ignoring tire ratings, drivers of 18 wheelers create conditions that are extremely dangerous to you as a motorist. Driving is an ordinary and necessary activity that need not put you in danger, but blowouts and wrecks indicate that it does.
Aggressive driving behavior is risky for anyone who shares a highway with other drivers, but the risk is more serious if negligence and carelessness are present. When 18 wheelers travel at speeds that exceed the rating for their tires and experience a blowout or cause a wreck, injuries usually occur. The burden is on you as an injured victim to endure pain, lose time from work, spend months or years in therapy, endanger the financial future of your family and accept permanent changes to your lifestyle.
Understanding the Danger
Recognizing the dangers while driving near an 18 wheeler can help you understand the risks that exist. Keeping in mind the cautions cited in The Washington Post and on CBS News may help you understand the reasons for the rise in big rig accidents. Even though you are a safe driver, you still face serious hazards on the road. When tragedy occurs and causes harm to you or your family, you should exercise the option to have a Houston auto accident personal injury attorney represent you.