Heat can be a tire’s worst enemy. With temperatures soaring to 100 degrees and then some every day, the air in tires takes up more volume. The most dangerous tire blowouts involve large 18-wheeled semis. Semi-truck tires are subject to significantly more wear and tear than a normal vehicle because of the large amount of weight the trucks carry and the number of miles they drive.
Often in semi-tire blowouts, the entire tire tread explodes off the tire in a single large piece. In other instances, pieces of the tire shoot off in many directions. There are two major dangers for other drivers when this happens. First, the tread pieces can cause other drivers to maneuver quickly to avoid them. But even more dangerous is when a blowout causes the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. If this happens, the possibility of a serious accident is extremely high.
Brad says, “One of the best ways to prevent a tire blowout is for truck drivers to put good tires on their truck. Many truck drivers today retread their tires as opposed to replacing them because it’s cheaper. It’s just so much more likely that they will have some sort of tire malfunction.”
When a car is driving down a road, the sidewalls of the tires are flexing, which creates heat. If the tire pressure is correct, then the heat created is minimal. But if the tire pressure is low, then the sidewalls have to do a lot more flexing and create a lot more heat. Add in the summer sun and eventually the bonds in an under-inflated tire can break down and you have a blowout.
“Every truck driver is required to thoroughly examine their rig before hitting the road. This inspection should always include an inspection of the truck’s tires. When an accident occurs, truckers may try to blame the manufacturer for defects, but usually the damage was caused because the trucker and their company failed to keep the tires in proper working order,” Brad says.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?
To determine liability for a trucking accident, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Many people assume that it is always the truck driver’s fault, but that may just be part of the case. Depending on the specific findings made by your truck accident attorney, any of the following could be held liable for your injuries:
The Trucker and/or Trucking Company
If the truck driver was operating the vehicle in a negligent or reckless way, they may be held liable. This could include failure to yield, speeding, distracted driving or operating the vehicle under influence of alcohol or drugs. One of the greatest mistakes drivers make is failing to follow the hours of regulation, which leads to them driving while extremely tired.
Trucks rely on proper loading of their cargo to maintain balance and ensure that nothing will slip, slide, or roll during transport. Any truck, especially open-bed vehicles, can experience serious complications in the event of an overload or improperly loaded cargo, including jackknifing and rollovers.
The tire manufacturer may be held liable if there is some type of tread separation or defect in the manufacturing process. A common manufacturing defect that often leads to a sidewall blowout is a poor speed rating. Other tire defects caused by manufacturer negligence include overheating, compound imbalance/impurities and inadequate quality control or final inspection.
Preventing tire blowouts may not always be possible, but the chances of them occurring can be reduced if proper tire maintenance is performed. Checking on tire conditions often makes it more likely problems can be caught early, which could potentially save lives.
How to Keep Your Vehicle’s Tires Protected To Avoid a Tire Blowout
Getting your tires periodically checked will help to avoid blowouts. You could also prevent your tires from blowing out in the following ways:
- Check the air pressure before you start driving. If you are driving through a hot place, check the pressure every 75 miles if you think over-inflation could be an issue.
- Ensure your tires have not become too thin. Thin tires run a higher risk of getting blown out. Install summer tires that are better equipped to handle hot weather.
- Keep your car tires adequately inflated while driving. The proper amount of air pressure depends on the car you drive. Stay up to date with your car maintenance and service needs.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, you may benefit from the assistance of a Board Certified Personal Injury attorney. Give our office a call at 817-440-3888 or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help you.