Truck Tire Blowouts Can Have Deadly Consequences
Truck tires are a much larger than the tires that go on the average passenger vehicle or even SUV. It just makes sense that when they blow out, there’s a bigger explosion. That means more force and when you’re already dealing with oversized vehicles, that can mean a catastrophic outcome with multiple injured drivers.
There’s usually some sort of sign that a truck tire might be getting ready to blow even before a trucker gets out on the road. If it goes unchecked and unchanged, once that tire erupts it’s anybody’s guess as to where the semi might be thrown or even what direction tire debris might be launched. These tragic truck accidents are often avoidable and happen due to the negligence of the truck driver or trucking company.
Maintenance issues can cause a tire to blow out
Tires typically only experience a blowout for a limited number of reasons, most of which are avoidable. Unfortunately, transportation companies and independent owner operators who have total control over their vehicles aren’t always as attentive as they should be. Sometimes it’s intentional and at other times it is pure carelessness.
Like virtually every other part on any vehicle, semi-truck tires have a maintenance plan to follow. Again, like every other vehicle owner, it is up to the owner of the truck to make those decisions such as:
- Choosing the right tire. There are variables that must be considered when fitting a truck for tires including size and typical load the truck carries as the weight on tires is an enormous consideration for safety and tire wear.
- Proper inflation. Overlooking tire inflation levels can result in damage to the tire casings and cause uneven weight distribution across the trailer or cab, hastening tread wear. Temperature affects inflation as well and failing to follow cold weather protocols can cause a tire to burst from overinflation.
Even if injury is miraculously avoided during a tire blowout, these trucks are not inexpensive vehicles and can easily be totaled. That can quickly create an insurance dispute to determine who will be responsible for replacing a quarter-of-a-million-dollar vehicle, not to mention any freight it was hauling.
Is it safe to buy used tires for trucks?
Defective tires can be an unknown problem when they come directly from the manufacturer. The issue then becomes one of product liability when they cause an accident. However, when drivers, trucking companies, and maintenance companies choose to place used tires on a truck, accident liability tends to end at their doorsteps unless there was an existing design or manufacturing defect.
Buying used tires for a big rig is something that is ill-advised, but it happens. The average cost to replace all tires on an eighteen-wheeler can run about $7,500. The average long-haul trucker drives 125,000 to 150,000 miles per year and truck tires last up to 120,000 miles when properly maintained. It’s easy to see that when these trucks may be looking at replacing tires more than once per year, they are open to cost-saving options like buying used tires.
The problem with buying used is you truly have no way of knowing where the tires have been or what they have been through and you won’t always be able to detect problems with a visual inspection.
Drivers are risking that the used tires they place on their trucks were never:
- Improperly inflated
- Driven at excessive speeds, which can cause early wear
- Punctured and/or patched
- Subjected to excessive heat or cold that can affect the rubber
- Damaged from hitting curbs and potholes
- Under a previous manufacturer’s recall
Unless there’s a road hazard or other anomaly that that causes a tire to suddenly blow out, it rarely happens by surprise. This means some form of negligent action by the trucker or trucking company was the ultimate cause of the collision. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a truck tire blowing out, it’s important to hire the knowledgeable truck accident attorneys at Martin & Helms. Our legal team understands the ins and outs of these big rig collisions and can determine who might be liable for your injuries.
To schedule your free consultation in our Huntsville or Decatur office call 256.539.1990 or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form to tell us your story. Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis so there is no cost to you unless we win your case. We protect clients who have been injured by eighteen wheelers in North Alabama including Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, and Madison.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is an important step in building a better future. You deserve a lawyer who works one-on-one with you, and who can develop a plan for you to move forward. When you choose Martin & Helms, you get Clay Martin and Tara Helms: experienced, compassionate counselors who put your best interests first. We invite you to read more about us.