Studies done on truck accidents point to mechanical failure as a chief factor in a large percentage of these events. While the braking system has been found to be to blame in many crashes, research indicates that tire problems are a close second, almost equally responsible for the wrecks caused by mechanical issues. Truck accident attorneys shed this insight on wrecks caused by tire failure, and how they can be reduced through better tire maintenance and stricter adherence to tire use specifications.
Tires A Prime Factor in Truck Crashes
Other than brakes, the tires on tractor trailers are the highest wear items on these vehicles. Commercial grade tires are also expensive in comparison to those used on smaller vehicles. Considering that tractor trailers are driven tens of thousands of miles and sometimes even over a hundred thousand miles every year, this cost can really add up. Another concerning factor is improper use, which accelerates rubber wear, making replacement even more necessary. As a result, many truck accident attorneys deal with cases where commercial carriers have skimped on tire replacement to save money, ultimately causing serious accidents.
Causes of Tire Failure
Truck tires can fail for a number of reasons, including simple road wear that necessitates replacement. However, some failures are due to manufacturing defects, as well as extra wear and tear caused by improper use. Overloaded trailers and low tire pressure are common reasons for these failures, as both conditions cause excess stress on the tires and cause them to wear out sooner than expected. Truck accident attorneys report that another factor in premature wear is when tractor trailers are driven above their tire speed ratings, quickening wear. These actions, combined with unavoidable issues like road hazards, contribute to tire failure, making it a common occurrence.
When a Tire Fails
Tire blowouts and other failures are dangerous in a number of ways. Blowouts frequently send chunks of rubber flying through the air, frequently causing crashes after hitting other vehicles on the road. Blowouts on the trailer portion of the combination may not cause immediate problems; however, with one less tire carrying the load, additional failures are more likely as the remaining wheels are overloaded. When a blowout happens on a steering axle, control of the vehicle can be lost. This is a dangerous situation and the type of blowout that lead to serious, sometimes deadly truck accidents.
Regarding truck tire failures and the need to save money, there seems to be a direct contradiction in the practices observed by many commercial carriers and tractor trailer owners. Truck accident attorneys and safety regulators recognize the need to keep costs down; however, required maintenance including tire replacement should never be ignored. Companies could get longer, safer use from tires by practicing better maintenance, observing correct load weights and speed limits, and ensuring drivers know how to check for correct pressure and any existing damage. By paying attention to these details, trucking companies could reduce tire wear substantially while reducing dangerous truck accidents at the same time.
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190