Most Common Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts are one of the top causes of truck accidents in the US. Recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that tire blowouts cause over 11,000 crashes and more than 200 fatalities annually.

When a truck’s tires blow out, the tire quickly loses pressure and causes the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and get into an accident. Here are some quick facts you should know about truck tire blowouts so you can stay safe on the road.

The Risks of Tire Blowouts

One of the main reasons tire blowouts are dangerous is that they make a vehicle unstable. Truck drivers are trained to recover from tire blowouts, but it is difficult to predict the impact of a particular blowout. Even the most skilled drivers can lose control of their trucks after a tire blowout.

Blowouts are also dangerous because they often come as a surprise. Some driving hazards are identified before the hazard becomes a safety risk, but this is not always the case with tire blowouts.

If a truck driver is driving defensively, the driver will notice that the traffic ahead has come to a stop. Identifying a hazard ahead of time gives the driver a few minutes to brake or stop if necessary.

However, it is impossible to predict most tire blowouts. This means a driver could be operating the vehicle normally when the tire blows all of a sudden and the driver has only seconds to react. Here are some of the most common causes of tire blowouts.

Improper Vehicle Maintenance

If a tire is overinflated, the tread will wear down faster in the middle of the tire. If a tire doesn’t have enough air, the tire will wear down quickly on its sides. Over- and underinflation reduce the lifespan of the tires and may increase the chances of a blowout. Truckers should make sure all the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated for safer driving.

An Overloaded Trailer

If a trailer is too packed, brakes and tires will wear down faster. This means the tires could blow out without warning. Loaded trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so it’s important to ensure that tires are inflated property for minimal wear and tear.

Hazards on the Road

If a tire hits debris or a pothole on the road, the tire’s integrity could be compromised. The impact between the road hazard and the tire can pinch the inside of the tire, and if the tire is hit hard enough, the debris will cut through the rubber and fabric.

Small Tire Leaks

A leak that is so small a driver doesn’t notice it could lead to a dangerous blowout. The leak may cause air to be released from the tire slowly until the tire goes flat or blows out.

Final Thoughts

Even though it is not always possible to prevent it, a tire blowout is less likely to happen with proper maintenance. It is essential for truckers to check the condition of their tires regularly to prevent catastrophic accidents.

When pieces of truck tires fly around at high speeds, they can quickly turn into projectiles that can severely damage other cars and injure nearby traffic participants.

Unlike small vehicles, truck tires are inflated at tremendous pressures (115 psi vs. 35 psi on average) to be able to support the weight of both the truck and its cargo. So, when a truck tire blows out, small chunks of rubber and other materials are hurtled around over great distances.

So, nearby drivers are advised not to swerve into oncoming traffic when they witness a violent blowout despite their first instinct. Also, they should never drive too close to trucks and should keep a safe distance farther back to be able to dodge potential truck debris flying their way.

Also, after a truck tire blowout, nearby cars should pull over in a safe spot to assess damages. And if, despite all caution, the tire blowout causes a catastrophic accident, accident victims should speak immediately to an experienced attorney like this Tampa truck accident lawyer to help them get the compensation they are due. In many cases, both the truck driver and trucking company can be held liable.

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