Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, tankers, and other large vehicles are designed to take heavy punishment from frequent use, but they require constant maintenance to stay in operating condition. An issue with even a single tire can pose a real danger both to the truck and to other cars on the road, so it’s important that the operator of the truck follows all the rules, regulations, and good practices that the transportation industry has in place in order to drive safely and prevent accidents.
How Commercial Truck Tires Fail
The tires of an 18-wheeler must be able to support up to 80,000 pounds or more of weight, be able to withstand the forces to move that weight, and still be able to bring the entire vehicle to a stop safely, too. When a tire capable of meeting these requirements fails, it often blows out at highway speed by either exploding or rupturing, shredding the tire and leaving pieces of rubber across the road. These tire fragments can strike nearby cars and cause them to lose control, or cause drivers to veer suddenly to avoid striking pieces of tread, causing an accident.
There are many causes of truck tire blowouts, and most of them are preventable. For example, blowouts may be caused by:
- Improper maintenance. Tires need to be inflated to the correct pressure, meet minimum tread depth standards, and have a similar amount of wear. If a truck driver or trucking company doesn’t inspect and replace worn tires regularly, the tire can fail under even a light load.
- Bad loading practices. Trailers and cargo must be balanced properly front to back and left to right and not go over the maximum safe load capacity of the tires.
- Defective products. Like many other products, sometimes defective materials are released onto the market. It’s up to the trucking company or driver to stay current with all safety notices and stop using any tire that is under a recall.
There are both state and federal laws that dictate how often maintenance inspections, including tires, must be performed on trucks. Failure to perform these inspections or to document them appropriately may expose the truck driver, the trucking company, or the cargo owner to liability for any damage to other vehicles on the road.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have been in an accident caused by a commercial truck tire blowout, a personal injury attorney can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and other expenses related to the incident.
At the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger, we are here to help you after your accident in any way that we can. We work hard to represent innocent people who have been injured on the road in South Carolina, and we want to protect your rights in a court of law. Let us worry about the legal business of insurance negotiations and court cases for you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can work for you, call us by phone today, or click the live chat box on this page. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and we are proud to serve communities in the Sumter, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina.