How Truck Tire Blowouts Can Lead to Serious Injuries
There are a lot of dangers and hazardous situations that can present themselves while you’re driving. You have to worry about other drivers maneuvering erratically, construction work, animals crossing the road, inclement weather, and so on. One thing you may not think to concern yourself with is tire blowouts from commercial trucks. They can happen anywhere and at any time, but there are several factors that can increase the likelihood of a blowout happening.
As a driver that shares the road with truckers, it is important to understand how and why blowouts happen, and the sorts of injuries they can cause should you ever be in an accident because of a commercial truck tire blowout. Knowing this information can greatly help you when seeking out a truck accident lawyer, as you can better understand the situation that led to the blowout and the injury, providing evidence that will help you receive compensation.
What are the causes of a truck tire blowout?
A tire blowout is when a truck’s tire bursts and loses air suddenly, often sending the tire or the rubber of the tire flinging out into traffic, and causing the truck itself to swerve or careen violently out of control. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2019, “‘Other Working Vehicle’ and ‘Tires’ were the most common vehicle-related factors for large trucks in fatal crashes.”
There are several reasons why tire blowouts happen, with some of them being more avoidable than others. The causes of truck tire blowouts include:
- Under-inflation/low tire pressure. Underinflation is the most common cause of tire blowouts. There are several factors that affect tire inflation: temperature fluctuations, damage to the tire, and worn valves. These are all ways in which a tire can lose air. Regularly checking air pressure in the tires is a necessity for truck drivers, and there are several options available to the driver such as digital tire monitoring platforms. These tools can instantly measure the air pressure in all the tires, and help prevent any of them from becoming underinflated without the driver noticing.
- Mechanical issues. It’s important that all parts of the tire are taken care of and updated. This not only includes the tread and rubber of the tire, but the bolts, king-pins, ball joints, and wheel bearings. When these become worn, damaged, or lost, the tire itself will wear down more quickly.
- Mismatched tires. When tires in dual positions on the truck are not the same type, their treads are different, or their air pressure differs even slightly, this can cause tire blowouts. It is important that truck drivers make sure that if they suspect that their tires are different types (by checking the tread depth on each tire), then they need to get the tires replaced so that they match exactly. Mismatched tires cause early wear and tear; and if tires are inflated with as little a variance as 5 PSI, it’s the same effect as having mismatched tires.
- Improper equipment/improper installation. This is when the equipment that dictates how the tires are oriented, or having the wrong tires for the occasion, can cause undue wear on the tires, meaning they become weaker and more apt to blowouts. This includes improper alignment of the axles and improper seating of the tires.
- Operating the truck in a way that unduly wears the tires. When the driver uses too much torque to maneuver, it can cause wear on the tires. While this can be avoided by not turning the steering wheel so aggressively or by not driving as fast, sometimes these situations cannot be avoided. In this case, the tires should be rotated frequently to even out the wear. Another way that truckers wear down their tires is going too fast on super single tires. Super singles are a new and popular type of tire for commercial trucks. Going too fast on these tires can cause wear as well, so it is advised that truck drivers follow advised speed limits.
- Road hazard/impact. This is probably the one most drivers think of as the main culprit for tire blowouts. Whether it’s hitting a deep pothole or running over a sharp object, evidence of this sort of damage can be easily spotted when the tire is examined later.
No matter what causes the truck’s tire to experience a blowout, the damage it does to the truck and to the drivers around it will be just as dangerous.
What injuries do tire blowouts cause?
When a large, thick piece of heated rubber rockets out into traffic at high speeds, it can cause devastating damage. Not only can it wreck a car, but it can leave the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles with serious injuries. Car accidents from truck tire blowouts can cause injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic amputation
- Wrongful death
When considering motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, the injuries to these others who are less protected on the road will be catastrophic.
Why do I need a Chattanooga injury lawyer?
When it comes to accidents caused by tire blowouts, you may think it’s obvious who the at-fault party is, but inspection of the truck and the tires may possibly point to other parties. This may mean that the tire manufacturer is at fault for possibly making a defective tire, or that the truck manufacturer or engineer may be the one liable if a problem with the truck itself is to blame. The trucking company itself may be responsible for your accident. For this reason, having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side is essential, as they will ensure that you file your personal injury claim against the correct party or multiple parties.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our expert lawyers and legal team make you our priority. We know how much these types of accidents can cost you, not just financially but physically and mentally. It’s a difficult time to have to experience, and we will ensure that you will not suffer any more than you already must.
With us on your side, we’ll work to ensure you are compensated for every expense and for every piece of property destroyed, and for every injury – physical, emotional, mental – that you had to suffer and may continue to suffer from for the rest of your life. To schedule an appointment, call us at 423-756-7923, or complete our contact form today. We proudly serve injured clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, TN, and throughout North Georgia.
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