According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are an average of 8,000 truck crashes that involve a tire failure every year. This is incredibly dangerous as tire blowouts usually happen suddenly and with no prior warning. A tire blowout on a semi-truck isn’t like a simple flat tire issue. Tire blowouts often occur while the truck is travelling at a relatively high speed which could cause the driver to lose control of the massive vehicle and cause a catastrophic crash.
There are many causes for tire blowouts and failures depending on the situation and surrounding factors. Here, we will dive into the top causes of tire blowouts and failures that lead to accidents and what we can do to prevent or minimize these issues.
Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
First, we must establish the difference between tire blowouts and flat tires. A tire blowout is the sudden burst or rupture of a tire, often happening while the vehicle is travelling at speed. As a result of the rupture, the driver may very well lose control of the truck and veer away into traffic or the side barriers. Because blowouts happen suddenly and without an alert, they’re incredibly dangerous for the truck driver and people driving around them.
A lot of factors can contribute to a tire blowout on the road. It could be that the driver is at fault, and it also could be that the truck company or the tire itself is the culprit. According to Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer Richard Shapiro, sometimes, liability falls solely on the shoulders of the trucking company, and other times it may be shared by multiple parties. In the following article we’ll take a shallow dive into the top causes of truck tire blowouts.
It’s estimated that as much as eighty percent of truck tire blowouts that occur on our roads are caused by under-inflated tires. The truck driver is responsible for inspecting the tires on their truck often to make sure they’re properly inflated and none are over worn. When a truck drives a long distance on an under-inflated tire, it causes the tire to heat up quickly which can lead to the blowout.
Another large factor when it comes to tire blowouts is the excessive heat tires must endure while on the road. Driving for long periods of time on scorching hot tarmac in the summer makes truck tires way more susceptible to a blowout. Because of the frequency of tire blowouts occurring during the months of summer, some people have dubbed it “the tire blowout season”.
Motor vehicle tires are the main and only point of contact between the vehicle and the road. That’s why it’s crucial to always make sure you’re using the correct size and model of tires that matches the vehicle. A mismatched tire or a tire that’s a tiny bit smaller than required could be the culprits behind many tire blowouts.
One of the main causes of truck tire blowouts is cargo overload. This is one of the reasons why all U.S. states have laws governing the maximum weight that a truck can legally carry while travelling on the interstate system. When a truck is moving with too heavy of a load, this puts great pressure on the truck’s tires.
Trucking drivers and companies could be subject to fines and warnings if they intentionally exceed the cargo limit. Nevertheless, this practice still takes place and increases the chances of getting a blowout significantly.
Who’s Liable for Truck Accidents Caused by Tire Blowouts?
There are many different parties that could share the blame of a truck tire blowout. The truck driver, trucking company, people who help load the truck’s cargo, the mechanic’s making sure all parts are working properly, and the tire manufacturers.
An experienced attorney would be able to investigate all the different factors to look for errors and find the culprit. Determining all the parties who are responsible for your damages is a rather complicated process that would require the help of a professional.