Truck Accidents: Bald Tires and Tire Blowouts

It may or may not come as a surprise to motorists that tire blowouts are a leading cause of truck accidents across the nation. We’ve all seen torn tire shreds on the side of the roadway. Perhaps, we’ve even handled a flat tire or tire blowout on our own cars, but what happens when truck drivers travel around on bald tires? The answer is, they’re playing with fire. Truck drivers who fail to properly maintain their tires are at an increased risk for tire blowouts and other tire problems. If you’ve ever had a blowout, you know just how scary it can be to temporarily lose control of your vehicle or have to hold the wheel steady as your car pulls violently to one side. Now, try to image that you’re behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle going 70 miles per hour, and you have a blowout.

The Importance of Tires on Semi Trucks

Tires are probably one of the most, if not the most, critical pieces of equipment on a large truck. This is quite literally where the rubber meets the road, and tire maintenance needs to be a top priority for truck drivers on a regular basis. We know that truck tires have to be checked and entered into log books, but what about daily maintenance and checking tires in between or during trips? A lot can happen to a set of tires over a couple hundred or a thousand miles. Truck drivers need to be checking their tires for issues like irregular wear every day, before every drive.

The Trouble With Bald Tires

Truck drivers or commercial trucking companies might be thinking about their bottom lines when they’re pushing the envelope on bald tires. Maybe, they’re hoping to stretch every last usable mile out of a tire before they retire. Unfortunately, it’s this type of practice that leads to dangerous tire blowouts. Additionally, bald tires also have decreased performance capabilities. Anybody who has ever tried to stop in the rain on a set of bald tires knows exactly how this works. Large commercial trucks don’t stop on a dime under the best of circumstances, but add bald tires to the scenario and you’re looking at a pretty dangerous situation should that truck need to stop in the event of an emergency.

What About Braking and Maneuvering?

Braking and maneuvering capability is significantly decreased in a truck with bald tires. These tires don’t perform to safe industry standards, and they put everybody on the road at serious risk for injury causing or deadly accidents. Truck drivers know that bald tires are dangerous, and that they reduce performance capabilities, so why do we see so many tire-related accidents on U.S. roadways every year? The short answer is negligence and recklessness. The long answer is a variety of different factors including failing to properly maintain tires that contributes to dangerous truck accidents.

Poor or Inadequate Tire Maintenance

Just like our own cars, drivers and owners of trucks need to ensure they’re tires are properly and adequately maintained. In fact, they even have additional federal regulations to follow outlining truck tire safety. There should be no excuse for not properly maintaining the tires on an 80,000-pound commercial vehicle. In addition to buying the right size tires for the vehicle, drivers also need to ensure tires are always properly inflated and check for uneven wear and other issues on a regular basis. We’ve also learned that tire age is just as an important factor as many other signs of tire wear. You can’t put on old set of tires, even if they look ‘brand new.’ Evidence shows that tires do age, so that needs to be a factor when shopping or inspecting truck tires.

After a Truck Accident in Jackson

Truck accidents due to bald tires and tire blowouts are almost exclusively preventable. It all comes down to proper safety and maintenance procedures. When truck drivers or commercial trucking companies aren’t playing by the rules or they aren’t keeping and eye on their tires, they’re putting all roadway users at risk for injury causing and potentially deadly truck accidents. Truck accidents involving tire blowouts or other tire issues need to be fully and thoroughly investigated to determine if there was any negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. If drivers and commercial trucking companies fail to maintain their tires, they need to be held accountable.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident in the Jackson Metro Area, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free consultation today.

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