Truck Tire Blowouts
It is important to use the utmost caution when making your way through traffic, especially if you are driving near an 18-wheeler. If an 18-wheeler’s tire blows out, serious accidents can occur, and in some instances, truck tire blowout accidents can be deadly. Sadly, many tire truck blowout accidents could be prevented by trucking companies and drivers acting safely and ensuring that their trucks are safe to drive.
If you or your loved one was injured in an 18-wheeler tire blowout accident, contact a Des Moines truck accident lawyer at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you understand your legal rights and options in this situation, so contact us today by calling (515) 225-2600.
Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
The following are the three most common causes of 18-wheeler tire blowout accidents:
- Tire recaps – In order to save money, truck drivers may try to repair tires instead of replacing them.
- High mileage – Truck companies are responsible for ensuring that worn down tires are replaced.
- Mismatched tires – Failure to ensure that the right type and size of tire is put on an 18-wheeler can cause a blowout.
Why Are Tire Blowouts Dangerous?
The most obvious reason is that it creates instability in the vehicle. Though truck drivers are trained how to recover from a tire blowout, the impact of tire blowouts is often unpredictable. A perfectly trained driver can still easily lose control of his vehicle after a vehicle. The second reason truck blowouts are so dangerous is because they’re typically unexpected and abrupt. Many driving hazards can be identified prior to the hazard being a huge safety risk.
For example, if a truck driver is driving defensively, he may notice that traffic has halted to a stop ahead. This early identification of the hazard allows the driver to began to brake with plenty of time to stop. On the other hand, most blowups aren’t predictable. Therefore, a driver will be driving along the roadway when “BOOM!” The driver has been thrust into an immediate perilous situation and must adapt on the fly.
Here are 4 of the most common causes of truck tire blowouts:
1. Improper Maintenance
An overinflated tire can cause the tread to wear down fast in the center of the tire whereas an under-inflated tire causes the tread to wear down quickly on the sides. Both reduce the lifespan of the tire considerably faster than if the tire was inflated properly. Either air imbalance makes the tire more susceptible to blowouts. It is important to have tires properly inflated.
2. Overloaded Trailer
An overloaded trailer can cause excessive wear and tear on tires and brakes, causing them to fail without warning. A loaded trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and so it is crucial to have properly inflated tires that have minimal wear and good treads.
3. Roadway Hazards
If a tire were to hit a pothole or some roadway debris, the integrity of the tire would be damaged. The impact between the tire and the roadway hazard can cause the tire’s internals to be pinched, and, if hit hard enough, the rubber and fabric to be cut through completely.
4. Unnoticed Small Tire Leaks
Sometimes, a seemingly small tire leak can lead to a dangerous blowout. The slow release of air slowly weakens the tire until it inevitably and suddenly fails.
Although preventing tire blowouts is not always possible, the chances of them occurring can be reduced if tire maintenance is up kept. Checking on tire conditions often makes it more likely problems could be caught early. It is important for every truck driver to include a detailed review of the truck’s tire conditions as part of the pre-trip inspection.
Signs of Your Tires Need Repair / Replacement:
- Low Tire Tread – Tire tread is incredibly important when it comes to the safety of your truck. The little grooves help provide traction for your vehicle and prevents unnecessary slipping and sliding. If you have low tire tread, often from wear, it’s important to get the tires replaced.
- Tire Warning Light – Of course, if you see the tire warning light, it means something is wrong with your tire. Usually when this light turns on, it means you have low tire pressure. While most vehicles are fixed with adding more air, some cases prove more complicated. Low tire pressure can indicate larger issues.
- Cracked Tires – Cracks in tires are definitely a sign that your tire needs repair or replacement. Cracks in tires can indicate tire leaks or signal a future blowout. These should be checked immediately to prevent serious accidents or other dangers.
- Tire Vibration – Cars naturally vibrate when they are in motion. If your car is vibrating more than usual or it just feels “off,” it’s time to get your vehicle professionally checked. Tire vibrations can mean problems with your alignment, damaged suspension, and more.
Tire Repair Vs. Tire Replacement – What To Know
Not all mishaps to tires can be repaired. Whether or not you can repair your tire depends on the type of tire and what exactly happened to the tire. Read below to find out if your tire can be fixed or needs to be replaced.
1. A sidewall puncture needs to be replaced – Even if we can patch it up, the patch will come loose after enough time. Weaknesses in the sidewall will face incredible amounts of pressure so this tire needs to be replaced.
2. A shoulder puncture cannot be repaired – The shoulder of the tire connects the side of the tire with the flat portion, and punctures here face the most pressure, so any patch or plug will come undone under the extreme forces of the road.
3. A tire that has been driven on while flat or low air pressure – If you’ve driven on your questionable tire at all, then it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to get it fixed. Still, try visiting our Santa Clarita tire repair specialists, but the chances are you’ve caused damage beyond repair.
4. A puncture on the flat part of the tire that’s less than 1/4″ in diameter – These punctures can be fixed so long as they’re not within 2 inches of the shoulder.