Tractor-trailer operators arguably spend more time on the road than your average motorist each year. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that truckers have one of the highest tire blowout rates, given the connection between tire wear and the number of miles driven.
Tire blowouts usually take place while a motorist is operating a vehicle at a high rate of speed. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data shows that 5,096 motorists lost their lives in truck-involved accidents in 2018, the most recent year for which data was compiled. At least 121,000 motorists suffered injuries in such accidents that year.
Previous years’ data shows that many of those incidents were caused by tire blowouts.
Why are tire blowouts so dangerous?
Drivers often lose control of their vehicle when there’s a tire blowout. This can cause them to veer off the road, sometimes causing them to spontaneously collide with other vehicles.
Tire blowouts often result from poor maintenance. Worn and defective tires are more prone to blowouts, especially when:
- There are hazardous weather conditions such as rain, snow or extreme heat.
- Potholes are present.
- There is excessive braking.
- There are mismatched tires, whether they’re the wrong size, they have uneven tread patterns or aren’t properly inflated.
Truckers can greatly minimize their chances of having a tire blowout by regularly inspecting their tires and other features to ensure they meet all safety requirements.
Tractor-trailer operators can also reduce their risk of a blowout by reducing their speed. Truckers who maintain a speed of 75 MPH or more are more likely to put their tires under stress than those who travel slower than that.
What should you do if a trucker’s tire blowout caused a wreck?
Any instance in which a truck ceases to move or loses control following a tire blowout can be not only scary and life-threatening for a trucker but the motorists around them as well.
Sorting out liability in truck accident cases such as tire blowout ones can prove challenging. An attorney can help you make sense as to whether a trucker, their fleet company, a tire manufacturer or someone else is responsible for your injuries or loved one’s death.