Tire maintenance is an essential part of heavy truck maintenance, a detail that greatly affects truck safety. Every year there are thousands of big rig accidents caused by mechanical and tire failure, bringing to light the importance of the proper use and maintenance of tires. When commercial truck tires are not used according to safety specifications, the chance of truck accidents related to tire problems increases. Therefore, commercial carrier companies must pay close attention to the eighteen tires on every one of their trucks.
The Truth About Today’s Trucks and Tires
Keeping trucks safe on the highways requires that tires be in good condition and always properly inflated. Of all the trucks that are pulled over to have their tires tested, it is estimated that less than 45 percent are properly inflated, with many in poor enough condition that tires should be replaced immediately. Despite this, many companies continue to use tires long past the point where they are considered to be safe. Proper inflation is not monitored nearly as much as it should be. Under FMCSA Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) laws, proper inflation and tire condition is an essential part of basic truck maintenance, a requirement to reduce the number of big rig accidents that occur. The issue is that actually enforcing these rules has been difficult, meaning that many trucks on the highways have inadequate or poorly inflated tires.
Tire Problems Cause Trucking Accidents
Commercial truck tires have a specific lifespan and must be driven at or below the legal truck speed limit in order to provide the safest use. They must also be inflated to a specific pressure to prevent premature tire wear and avoid dangerous conditions that could lead to truck accidents. When tires are under-inflated, it causes extra wear and increases the possibility of losing control of the vehicle or a tire blowout. Unbalanced tires can affect the balance of the entire load being carried by the truck, contributing to tire wear and other tire safety issues. Although some tire malfunctions are caused by manufacturing defects, most tire problems that lead to big rig accidents are caused by poor inflation and improper tire maintenance.
Monitoring Tire Pressure and Condition Is Essential
Inspectors who stop semi trucks regularly cite those that are running on bald, flat, under-inflated, or otherwise damaged tires; however, there are not enough semis being checked for these serious safety infringements. The responsibility of proper truck maintenance, including regular checks for tire pressure and condition, ultimately lies with the commercial carrier. When an accident happens, it is the trucking company who is usually at fault. Simply by paying more attention to tire pressure and condition, some of these devastating truck accidents could be prevented.
Federal law requires trucking companies to properly maintain their vehicles as an important way to reduce truck accidents that are caused by mechanical failures. This includes making sure that all trucks have tires that are in good working condition, properly inflated to the right pressure. Failure to monitor tire pressure and condition is responsible for many big rig accidents, since truck tires are more prone to blow outs and loss of vehicle control. Since a main cause of truck accidents is attributed to truck maintenance, commercial carriers must fulfill their responsibility to properly monitor their trucks and save lives in the process!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
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