A truck tire blowout can occur suddenly and at any time. Unfortunately, motorists in automobiles, other passenger vehicles, and motorcycles are extremely vulnerable when these dangerous accidents occur. They can suffer catastrophic injuries that will change their lives forever or die. Sadly, these crashes are almost always preventable and are caused by trucker and trucking company negligence. If you are the victim of one of these wrecks, you should not be left alone with all your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You need to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who can help you hold all liable parties responsible for your losses.
Inspections and Maintenance: The Main Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are not just flat tires. They are the sudden bursting or rupture of a tire while the truck is being driven at a high speed. The sudden explosion of the tire can cause the trucker to lose control of his truck and slam into nearby vehicles. The truck driver can sometimes collide with vehicles in more than one lane of traffic and cause a huge and deadly multi-vehicle crash. Additionally, other innocent victims can be injured or killed when they swerve out of the way of the vehicles or tire debris strewn over the highway or road.
Because of the dangers of trucks being driven with poorly maintained tires and other maintenance issues, truckers and trucking companies must follow safety regulations implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Two important rules that are almost always violated when a tire blows out include:
- Truckers and trucking companies are required to systematically inspect and maintain their trucks on a schedule set forth by FMCSA rules.
- No truck should be driven if its condition makes it likely to cause a crash or breakdown.
Another major cause of truck tire blowouts is a lack of maintenance and inspections of tires. Under FMCSA rules, a trucking company should ensure that truckers follow a vigorous inspection of truck components—including the tires—as well as their own schedule of inspections. Common requirements that are often violated in truck blowout wrecks include:
- A truck driver is required to conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection of his truck and tires. He must also review the last trucker’s report and certify that any needed repairs were done.
- A truck driver is required to conduct a post-trip inspection and any maintenance and repair issues should be listed on the report.
- Truckers are also required to inspect their trucks and tires at the end of each day that they are driving a truck.
- No truck should be driven if its tires are defective.
- If the tires are found to be defective, an out-of-service sticker should be placed on the truck. It should not be driven until the tires are repaired or replaced and the sticker is removed.
- Trucking companies are required to maintain, repair, and replace truck tires as necessary.
- Trucking companies are required to conduct annual inspections of its trucks, including its tires.
Routine maintenance and repair is the key to avoiding preventable tire blowouts. When inspecting the tires, truckers should be checking for tread wear, tire pressure, tire inflation and wear, mismatched tires, and cuts, cracks, and other damage. Common problems with brake maintenance that cause these crashes include:
- Low or no tread due to lack of replacement of tires and the many miles trucks are driven
- Rotten or defective spare tires
- Use of wrong sized tires or mismatched ones
- Underinflating or overinflating of the tire pressure
- Improper or defective recapping of the tire treads
- Use of defective tires that may be under recall
Other problems can also contribute to a tire blowout. They include the following:
- Excessive use of the brakes
- An overweight cargo load
- Rain, snow, or icy weather conditions combined with unsafe driving by the trucker
How Kennedy Hodges, LLP, Can Help
The experienced truck accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, will thoroughly investigate your accident to identify the cause of the truck tire blowout and identify all liable parties—often more than just the truck driver and trucking company. Fill out our online form or call us at 855.947.0707 to schedule a free consultation.