Semi Truck Tire Failure, When The Rubber Hits The Road

There are many actions on the part of semi truck drivers that can have deadly consequences. For example, speeding, talking on a cell phone or ignoring the need for rest breaks can all lead to tragic results for truck drivers and their innocent victims. However, poor truck maintenance may also play a role in deadly semi truck accidents, particularly when this failure to maintain the vehicle includes tire issues.

What Is The Importance of Tire Maintenance?

Of all the issues surrounding semi truck maintenance, taking care of tires is one of the most important. Tires are literally “where the rubber meets the road” and provide the only contact between the truck and the highway. Tire failure can have instant consequences for the truck driver as well as others who may be on the road at the time.

How Do Tires Fail?

There are several different types of tire failure that are possible for truck drivers, including:

  • Manufacturing defects. Foreign material may be incorporated into the tread during manufacturing, or the tire may simply be poorly made, causing the tread to separate or even leading to tire explosion under road use conditions.
  • Design defects. Some tire treads are more likely to “unzip” from the tire walls than others. These tires are a hazard as they can, without warning, suddenly fail while the truck is traveling at a high rate of speed.
  • Warning defects. When a tire has been shown to fail under certain conditions, such as when it is improperly inflated to the correct pressure, the manufacturer is required to warn consumers of this fact. Failure to warn about specific problems or expiration dates on tires can cause serious consequences for truck drivers and innocent victims.
  • Manufacturer issues are not the only reason for tire failure. Truck drivers often drive many thousands of miles on the same tires, and these tires may be put under very stressful conditions due to truck weight and speed. Further, whether a driver owns his or her own truck or the truck is owned by a company, tire cost is always a factor in profit margin. Semi truck tires are expensive, so drivers are often motivated to make them last longer than safety would dictate.
  • Finally, although a tire failure or blowout can cause a serious accident, tire debris on the highway can lead to deadly consequences as well. Cars may swerve or motorcycles lose control trying to avoid debris on the highway, leading to injuries and death.

What Can We Do To Avoid Tire-Related Accidents?

Stronger penalties and regulations could have a positive effect on the number of tire-related semi-truck accidents. By forcing trucking companies and drivers to examine their tires closely and provide proof that they meet stringent standards, lives could be saved.

However, even the strictest laws will not stop all drivers or companies from skirting these important issues. If you have been the victim of a truck accident involving tire failure, it is very important that you discuss your case with an attorney who has experience in handling truck accident cases. The Orlando Truck Accident Attorneys at David & Philpot have been helping victims of semi-truck accidents for over 20 years. We understand the complexities of these cases and will fight for you against the big trucking companies and their insurers. If you have questions about what to do after a tractor trailer accident fill out our free case evaluation form, or contact us anytime at 800.360.7015.