Did you know that in the United States, speed limits are determined by individual agencies within each state? For a lot of our South Carolina readers, this makes sense. Many people believe that state agencies know their state best and should be able to make speed limit determinations that make the most sense in their area.
Although many states consider accident risk when raising speed limits, a recent Associated Press investigation determined that some state agencies may have set speed limits without considering tire speeds. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is facing difficult questions from the public, particularly concerning what the agency intends on doing about this potential problem.
Often disregarded or even unknown to many people, tire speed limits are incredibly important in the trucking industry because they establish guidelines for safe operation and help drivers avoid tire blowouts that could cause serious or even catastrophic accidents. Though some states have restrictions on how fast large trucks can travel, not all states do, meaning truck drivers as well as other motorists could be at risk of an accident and not even know it.
In response to the Associated Press’ investigation and concerns from the public, the Administrator of the NHTSA Mark Rosekind has promised a push for electronic speed limiters on large commercial vehicles and semi trucks. The speed limiters would not allow trucks to travel faster than the tire’s speed limit rating, thus reducing the risk of tire blowouts.
Though no one is reported to have died because of a speed-related tire blowout, some here in Greenville may be applauding Rosekind’s proactive approach to addressing the issue. “You don’t wait for somebody to die when you know there’s a safety problem,” Rosekind told reporters.
It’s a statement we can all agree is true.
Source: The Associated Press, “Safety chief wants to cap big rig speeds to fix tire problem,” Meghan Barr and Tom Krisher, April 9, 2015