Anyone who has driven on the highway has probably seen debris from a truck tire. Chunks of tire can be seen littering the roadway and are often in the middle of the lane. When a big rig truck tire blows out, it can cause a dangerous situation for both the big rig and other drivers on the road. The truck driver may have a difficult time steering the rig to safety and pieces of the tire can hit other vehicles and create hazards on the pavement.
What Causes Truck Tire Blowouts?
Large commercial trucks have 18 wheels, while smaller trucks have fewer wheels. There are a number of conditions that might cause a truck tire to blow out. Some of the most common causes of truck tire blowouts include:
- Improper tire inflation
- Tires that come off the rim
- Old or damaged tires
- Inadequate maintenance
Tires that are overinflated become weakened and they are more prone to blowouts. Tires can sometimes suddenly come off the rim in a situation known as demounting. High temperatures inside the tire can cause the pressure to increase and the tire expands and might burst.
Old tires may have been overly stressed and they can be structurally weak, causing a sudden blowout. Cracks in the seams can weaken the tire and increased pressure might cause it to rupture. All of these issues can be avoided if the driver or maintenance crew performs a regular inspection of the truck.
Dangers of Truck Tire Blowouts
A commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making it very difficult to stop, especially in an emergency situation such as when a tire blows. Even experienced truck drivers can have problems controlling the vehicle when a tire blows out. The truck may swerve and it might even jackknife. In some instances the truck might even roll over.
This causes a hazardous condition to other drivers on the road. First, another driver may need to swerve to get out of the path of a flying hunk of tire. A small piece of tire can cause a serious accident if it hits another car. Drivers must then try to avoid getting near a truck that is out of control.
According to the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS) there are approximately 25,000 truck crashes per year in the United States that result from a tire blow out or a flat tire. These accidents may be prevented with adequate maintenance and upkeep of commercial trucks.
Commercial vehicle crashes are often very serious and sometimes involve several or more vehicles. When a big rig is involved in a crash with another vehicle, that vehicle’s driver and occupants may be severely hurt or killed. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a big rig accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact the experienced legal team handling 18-wheeler accidents at today to discuss the details of your case.
National Automotive Sampling System – Crashworthiness Data System, https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/national-automotive-sampling-system-nass
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, https://www.nhtsa.gov/