Originally Posted by joe_padavano
The flaw in your logic is that the speed rating doesn't mean that the tire handles better or has stiffer sidewalls, it only means that the tire is rated for sustained operation at higher speeds. If you've exceeded the 118 mph T rating when you hit that baby carriage, you probably deserve the liability...
The tire ratings are actually something I have a little knowledge on from when i had my truck, and Richie is right, the rating does affect the stiffness of the sidewalls and the amount of weight it will hold. When i got tires on my truck I had to get a higher rated tire because I was using it to tow heavy. I could feel in the ride that they were a stiffer, less forgiving tire over bumps.
So a heavy car on too low-rated tires may cause problems like he described.