Semi truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons, including driver error and mechanical failure. Tires are one of the most common parts on heavy trucks that will fail, ultimately causing dangerous semi truck crashes. As such, there is a lot of focus on whether the practice of retreading commercial tires to save money contributes to semi truck wrecks.
Considering how most tire failures occur, it stands to reason that retreading may increase that likelihood, although tire manufacturers disagree.
How Commercial Tire Failure Happens
There are two main ways that commercial truck tires fail, potentially causing serious semi truck accidents. Blowouts are a commonly recognized tire failure. Tread separations, where the tread surface of the tire actually comes off the tire, can also cause blowouts.
Both of these failures can be caused by various factors, from poor tire maintenance and driving on bent rims to improper inflation and tire overheating. All of these concerns can easily lead to failures that cause semi truck crashes.
What Is Tire Retreading?
Tire retreading, also called recapping, is a common practice in the commercial trucking industry that helps save money on the cost of tires. In this process, new treads are bonded to an existing tire that is otherwise in good condition, extending the life of the tire and reducing tire replacement expenses.
Unfortunately, retreading may also be associated with a higher rate of tire failure. Improper retreading is frequently found to be the underlying cause of many semi wrecks where a tire failure has occurred.
Controversy About Tire Retreading
Although retreading techniques are much better than they used to be, there are still many concerns with this practice and its association with semi truck accidents. Despite the tire manufacturing industry’s assurance that retreaded tires are just as good as new ones, safety experts find they may not be true if the process was not done properly.
If tires not actually suitable for retreading make it through the inspection process or if there are any inaccuracies in the retreading, those tires may be more prone to failures that result in semi truck crashes.
The Risks of Tire Retreading
Considering this along with forensic evidence gathered from semi truck wrecks resulting from tire failures, many feel that retreaded tires are more prone to failure. Federal agencies recognize there is some risk present with retreading, which is why it is illegal to use retreads on the tractor portion of a combination tractor trailer rig.
The debate goes on, partly due to the fact that there are many other conditions like poor maintenance and driving habits that can make any tire more likely to fail.
Do retreaded tires cause semi truck accidents? There are many arguments that suggest they are safe, at least as long as the retreading is properly performed. In the meantime, safety advocates stress that this variable adds to the possibility that retreaded tires are less durable, allowing failures that cause semi truck crashes.
The best way to reduce this chance and avoid the semi wrecks potentially caused by poor retreading is still proper tire maintenance and use as well as replacing and not retreading tires when they wear out!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810