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Could potential tire failures lead to speed limit changes?

With a few weeks before the summer driving season begins (i.e. Memorial Day weekend) the NHTSA has raised a concern about potential truck accidents on highways. New administrator Mark Rosekind recently called for action against states that have raised their speed limits to 75 miles-per-hour and higher because of concerns that many tires used on semi trucks and trailers would not be conducive to such speeds.

Several states, including South Dakota, Texas, Nevada, Washington and Missouri, to name a few, have raised their speed limits to 75 mph in rural areas.

The concerns are possibly linked to an October 2014 accident in New Mexico where a blown out tire was determined to be the cause. The NHTSA ultimately found that the truck owners were at fault, but did not rule out the possibility that the tires were not meant to travel at speeds higher than 70 mph for extended periods of time. In fact, Mr. Rosekind explained to the Associated Press that truck tires may not even be tested at certain high speeds, so the safety concerns could be higher than they are right now (even though they are not).

The speed limit for trucks in the state of Pennsylvania is 70 mph. But this does not rule out concerns that tire problems could be the cause of an accident because of how long a truck may be driven on a particular day. In the meantime, it does not appear that there are immediate plans to revisit Pennsylvania's speed limits for trucks. 

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