Truck Tire Blowouts: Common Causes of These Preventable Accidents
A truck accident can be even more tragic when it could have been prevented. Unfortunately, a tire blowout crash falls within this category if the trucker and trucking company fail to take tire maintenance and repairs seriously. Motorists who share the roads with these huge 80,000 pound big-rig trucks pay the price when they are unable to avoid a sudden truck blowout and suffer catastrophic injuries or death. If you or a family member were injured in one of these wrecks, you do not have to bear the burden of your injuries and wage losses on your own. With the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you may be able to obtain compensation from the negligent truck driver and his trucking company.
What Are the Two Main Reasons That Tire Blowouts Happen?
It is important to understand what a truck tire blowout is because it is different than a flat tire. Tire blowouts are the sudden bursting or rupturing of a truck tire—often happening when the truck is being driven at a high speed. As a result of the sudden explosion, the trucker can lose control of his truck and crash into other nearby vehicles, sometimes in other lanes. In addition, accidents can occur when truck cargo becomes loose or shredded parts of the tire’s rubber are strewn onto the roadway into the path of unsuspecting motorists who must try to swerve out of the way. In some cases, the truck driver can totally lose control of his truck and cause a rollover accident.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents are caused by two factors: failure to inspect the tires regularly and failing to maintain and replace them when necessary. Not only is this negligence, but it is also a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules governing truckers’ and trucking companies’ duties to inspect and maintain their trucks. These rules require the following:
- Truckers and trucking companies must systematically inspect and maintain their trucks—including the tires—on a schedule specified in the FMCSA rules.
- Truckers and trucking companies are required to not allow a truck to be driven if it is in a condition that will likely result in it causing an accident or breaking down.
- Truckers must conduct a pre-trip inspection of the truck that includes reviewing the last truck driver’s report and certify that any needed repairs have been made. If the truck tires are too worn or defective, the truck should not be taken on the road.
- Truckers should also conduct a post-trip inspection and prepare a report that lists any needed repairs.
- While on the road, truckers are supposed to inspect their trucks and tires at the end of each day. If the tires are in a condition that is likely to cause a crash or truck breakdown, the trucker should not continue to drive the truck.
- Trucking companies are also required to maintain, repair, and replace truck tires when their condition requires it.
What Factors Trigger Tire Blowouts?
A number of conditions will cause a worn or defective tire to be under sudden pressure or an impact that causes it to explode or lose air pressure quickly, with a truck tire blowout being the result. Some of these factors include:
- Underinflating of the tires
- Heat, which can cause the tires to overinflate
- Overloading of the cargo
- Wear and tear of the tire, which can result in a blowout if the tire is not replaced
- Low or no tire tread
- Mismatched tires and tires that are not the proper size for the truck
- Defective tires that may have been recalled
- Defective or worn spare tires
- Excessive braking by the truck driver
- Weather conditions coupled with unsafe trucker driving practices
Was your truck accident caused by a truck blowout? You need an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the unique challenges in these cases and the FMCSA regulations that could have been violated. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation to learn about your legal options and the compensation you may be entitled to.