Truck Tire Blowouts: Causes and Effects
Tire blowouts occur when a tire quickly loses air pressure and the tire pops, often causing the truck’s driver to lose control of the vehicle. These events are terrifying, and innocent victims can be injured. Tragically, tire blowouts are a leading cause of fatal truck accidents and cause the death of hundreds of people every year. Often, tire blowouts are caused by negligence, and the negligent parties should be held responsible for the harm they cause.
Common Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
Commercial trucks can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, so it is important that all of the vehicle’s components are in good working condition. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers or companies take these concerns seriously. Here are some of the most common causes of truck tire blowouts:
Heat can impact tires. Driving for hours at a time during hot weather can put additional stress on tires and make them more vulnerable to blowouts. This is why most tire blowouts happen during the summer months.
Commercial trucks consist of thousands of individual components, any of which can cause an accident if they are not kept in proper working order. Some trucking companies may skip routine maintenance on their fleet to speed up deliveries. Others may outsource maintenance to a third party that performs negligent repairs. Drivers are expected to inspect their vehicles before setting out on a trip and to check their vehicles periodically while using them, but some may skip these safeguards in the interest of getting deliveries made faster so they can be paid sooner.
Some tire blowouts occur because drivers are negligent. The driver may have failed to properly inflate the tires or to change out a tire once it has become worn.
Too much pressure on the truck’s brakes can cause excess wear and tear on its tires. Drivers may brake too heavily in mountainous areas rather than shifting to a lower gear.
Too Much Weight
Commercial truck tires must already support the massive weight of the truck. However, a fully loaded trailer can add even more weight to these already stressed tires. Trucks should not exceed the gross weight limits. Doing so can significantly increase the likelihood of a tire blowout.
One potential reason why tire blowouts may occur is that the tire is defective. Defective tires can cause tread separation, bead failures, and shredding. There have sometimes been massive recalls of millions of tires because of dangerous tires that have led to motor vehicle accidents and deaths after problems were discovered in the manufacturing process.
Dangers of Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts can cause serious accidents that have catastrophic results, such as:
- Rollover accidents – A rollover accident occurs when the truck rolls onto its side or upside down. Often, these accidents occur because the driver loses control of the vehicle.
- Head-on collisions – Tire blowouts can cause a driver to veer into oncoming lanes of traffic.
- Rear-end accidents – A sudden tire explosion can also cause a driver to crash into the vehicle in front of it.
- Jackknife accidents – A jackknife accident occurs when a trailer and the cab of a truck form a 90-degree angle, often colliding with nearby vehicles.
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by a tire blowout, a truck accident lawyer can help.