Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler June 12, 2015

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Why? Because that 18-wheeler zooming down a highway next to your car may have a catastrophic blowout. And why is that? Because a semi truck accident can occur from big rigs going faster than the maximum speed they can safely travel, given their tires.

An investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that, despite almost all big rig tires being made for a maximum sustained speed of 75 miles per hour, numerous tractor trailers are going faster than that on highways. And such big rig tires are unsafe at high speeds.

States Have Raised Speed Limits

That’s true in part because 14 states have raised their highway speed limits to be 75, 80 or perhaps even 85 mph, as it is in select parts of Texas.

Only about 10 years ago, almost the entire nation had speed limits no higher than 65 mph or 70 mph. But laws have changed in 14 states, most of them west of the Mississippi River, emboldening many big rig drivers to exceed the safe speed for their tires.

Wyoming and Utah let vehicles travel 80 mph or more, while South Dakota is expected to increase its speed limit for trucks to 80 mph. In Washington state, Nevada and Missouri, trucks can travel 75 mph or more.

Texas’ 85 mph speed limit — fastest in the nation — is in effect on Texas 130 near Austin.

With higher speeds allowed, many 18-wheeler drivers are taking advantage of those speed limits — and putting lives in danger due to potential tire blowouts from sustained speeds above their tires’ speed ratings.

Speed Can Damage a Tire

According to authorities in the field of auto safety, driving faster than a tire’s rated speed for long periods can cause heat damage to the rubber of a tire, which can blow out as a result. Such blowouts involving a huge diesel truck traveling at high speeds can endanger people’s lives.

The NHTSA studied specific Michelin tires and found that in each of 16 complaints evaluated, going faster than such tires’ 75 mph rating was the probable cause of blowouts.

Michelin is America’s largest seller of truck tires. Next are Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama and Firestone.

Big Rig Crashes Can Be Fatal

How serious are tire blowouts for 18-wheelers? Very serious, since big rig crashes can be fatal.

Indeed, according to the NHTSA, the United States had more than 14,000 crashes with fatalities between 2009 and 2013 involving semi trucks and buses. Those crashes claimed the lives of nearly 16,000 persons. And tires were an element in 223 of those deaths and in 198 of those crashes, the NHTSA found.

That’s why the NHTSA concluded that trucks should be equipped with devices preventing them from traveling more than 75 mph — even if the speed limit is higher. As a matter of fact, it’s believed that some big rig companies already enforce such a limit by placing “speed governors” on their trucks to keep them from exceeding 75 mph.

A semi truck industry group called the American Trucking Associations wants to take this even further. It opposes having speed limits higher than 65 mph, and it wants a federal requirement for speed governor devices to be installed in large trucks.

Heavy Loads, Under-Inflated Tires

Of course, other things besides high speeds can cause a big rig tire blowout, including overly heavy loads and under-inflated tires.

But clearly, higher speed limits are not safe when they encourage semi trucks to go faster than their tire ratings. Even so, states have had the authority to set speed limits for around 20 years, and many have done so without taking big rig tire ratings into account.

Officials in some states say they weren’t even aware of truck tires’ lower speed ratings when they increased their states’ speed limits. Of course, they also point out that a big rig doesn’t have to travel 80 mph just because that’s the posted speed limit, but instead should voluntarily travel a safer speed for its tires.

With higher speed limits in mind, the NHTSA might consider using its authority to hike 18-wheeler tire standards. That is, the NHTSA could require manufacturers of big rig tires to produce tires which can handle greater speeds than 75 mph.

At the least, the NHTSA could require that maximum speeds be shown on the sidewall of every truck tire, to help drivers be alerted. That move is under consideration.

As for ordinary cars, higher speed limits are not a problem for their tire ratings. That’s because the federal government requires all tires for cars and light trucks to be manufactured to handle speeds far faster than any posted speed limits in America — perhaps even over 100 mph.

How fast can a car go without damaging its tires due to sustained high speeds? It’s believed the average car can travel up to 112 mph without jeopardizing its tires.

Get A Big Rig Lawsuit

If someone in your family was injured or killed by an 18-wheeler, big rig, diesel truck, tractor trailer or semi truck, alert a truck accident lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates today.

We’ll begin by offering you a free case review. And then, if you engage our law firm, we can fight for your legal right to financial compensation for your losses due to an unsafe big rig, perhaps by getting you a semi truck lawsuit.

FREE Case Review

Google Reviews

I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.read more
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
If you’ve been seriously injured, get The Tough, Smart Lawyer! ®
Get Help Right Now
Principal Office Houston, TX