Tire blowouts on big tractor-trailers is overwhelmingly common, and probably happens hundreds of times a day across the United States. Simple maintenance and inspections as each driver should perform during every stop along their route would prevent this happening almost entirely. An industrial tire under full air pressure and the weight of its load is like a small bomb detonating when it blows. The rubber, and ancillary parts of the tire and wheel can fly off and smash through automobile’s windows, or if hit just right perforate the metal of a passenger or driver’s door. When a directional for front tire blows or has a rapid loss of air on a big rig catastrophic situations can materialize in an instant, and cause a pileup style accident with many or even dozens of injuries. Frequently, we seek a truck jackknifing from a front tire blowout.
The 3 most common causes of tire failure on an 18-wheeler:
- Defective tires
- Poor maintenance
- Failure to inspect the tires as required under the FMCSR
Many truck accidents from tire failures can be traced back to running the tire in an underinflated condition. The truck driver has a duty to inspect the tires every day to insure they are in safe operating condition. A properly inspected truck will not have underinflated tires, unfortunately many truck drivers do not adequately inspect the rig and it leads to many accidents.
Many trucking companies have started using retreads to save money. It is a huge mistake and can easily lead to tire failure. Trucking companies are charged with the responsibility of keeping the rig in safe condition and checking the tires is part of that responsibility. Certainly tire manufacturers say that a repaired tire or a used tire is not a safe alternative.
Some very serious accidents have occurred when a wheel comes off a big rig and flew down the highway striking a passenger car or requiring radical maneuvering to avoid the tire. Simple checks of the tires and wheels as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations could have avoided each of these accidents.
After a serious big rig accident in Houston, you can be assured the insurance company for the motor carrier will have “boots on the ground” in investigating the truck wreck and looking for avenues to shift responsibility from the driver or the company to someone else-usually the victim.
For a no obligation consultation with a Texas big rig accident attorney call the Baumgartner Law Firm toll free at 1-866-758-4529 or email us to inquire about a consultation.