Some of the most common causes of serious truck accidents include distracted driving, drowsy driving, and impaired driving. However, tire blowouts also cause truck accidents that can be particularly devastating. Many of these accidents can be prevented by making sure that tires are properly maintained and replaced if the tread is worn.
What Causes Tire Blowouts?
In some cases, a tire blowout can occur because of some type of debris in the road or a pothole. However, the vast majority of tire blowouts are caused by some type of manufacturing or driver error or a failure to properly maintain the vehicle. The following are examples of the most common causes of tire blowouts.
Truck Driver Error
This is the most common cause of tire blowouts. Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicle is properly and regularly maintained. That includes checking the tires’ air pressure and treads. If the air pressure is low or the tire treads are worn, there is an increased risk of a tire blowout. In addition, if the big rig hits a curb or a pothole, this could result in a blowout if the driver failed to have the tire repaired.
Improperly Installed Tires
If tires are not properly installed by a qualified mechanic, tire blowouts are much more likely to occur. Too often, careless mistakes are made, which can lead to a devastating tire blowout accident.
Improper Tire Inflation
If a commercial truck is not properly inspected on a regular basis, tire problems and other potentially serious mechanical issues may not be detected. Proper tire inflation will ensure that the tire’s internal components are not forced to flex beyond their designed limit. If tires are underinflated, the internal components of the tire will over flex, weaken, and eventually fail, increasing the risk of a blowout.
When too much cargo is loaded into a truck’s trailer, it can put more weight on the vehicle’s tires than they are designed to handle, even if they are properly inflated. Trucking companies will sometimes do this to save money on shipping. However, this can cause serious blowout accidents, as well as other types of truck accidents.
Inadequate Vehicle Inspections
Commercial trucks must be inspected on a regular basis. This helps identify a range of mechanical issues, including tires that have low pressure or that have started to wear out. If these issues are not identified and fixed, there is an increased risk of a serious truck accident.
In some cases, a tire blowout may be the fault of the tire manufacturer and not of the truck driver or the trucking company. Legally, tire manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that the tires they sell are safe.
What Factors Increase the Risk of a Tire Blowout?
In addition to the common causes of tire blowouts discussed above, the following factors can also increase the risk of a tire blowout:
- Hot weather, which can cause the tire to overinflate.
- Mismatched tires, or tires that are not the right size for the truck.
- Using tires that have been recalled.
- Defective or worn spare tires.
- Excessive braking.
- Inclement weather conditions combined with inexperienced or unsafe driving behaviors.
What Happens in a Tire Blowout Accident?
Tire blowouts involving large commercial trucks can be terrifying, particularly for occupants of the passenger vehicles in the vicinity of the truck. When a truck’s tire blows out, the vehicle will suddenly veer in the direction of the blown out tire. In extreme cases, this can cause the truck’s trailer to jackknife across the road or even flip over. If this type of accident occurs on the busy highway, it can have devastating consequences, including massive property damage involving multiple vehicles, severe injuries, and fatalities. In addition, it can cause the truck’s cargo to spill out, which can be extremely hazardous if the truck is carrying toxic or hazardous materials.
Who is Liable for a Tire Blowout?
There are a number of parties that may be responsible for a tire blowout truck accident. Listed below are potential parties that may be held liable for negligent tire care and maintenance.
All truck drivers have a responsibility to inspect their vehicle before every trip, which includes checking the tire pressure and making sure that the tread is not worn. If the truck driver failed to inspect the tires and ensure that they are properly maintained, they may be liable for the injuries caused by a truck accident.
The truck company is also legally obligated to ensure that their trucks are properly maintained and that they meet all safety standards. This includes regularly conducting thorough maintenance checks on the entire truck and ensuring that all repairs are made before the truck goes back on the road. If the truck company does not conduct regular maintenance or fails to repair or replace truck tires when it is necessary, it may be held liable for a blowout accident.
In recent years, it has become more common for commercial truck companies to outsource services, like tire mounting, tire and wheel assembly, tire repair, wheel refurbishing, tire inflation, rim installation, and other services related to the trucks’ tires. If individuals from the maintenance company are responsible for selling a faulty or defective tire, the company may be considered liable for a truck accident victim’s injuries. In addition, if the maintenance company did not properly train the technicians who worked on the truck’s wheels and tires, the maintenance company will likely be held liable.
In some cases, the tires may be defective, which may be cause for a products liability lawsuit against the tire manufacturer. Some tire defects are not easily detected, so they are only discovered after something goes wrong. For example, if there is a problem with the belt adhesion and it separates, this can cause a devastating truck accident.
In order to have a successful products liability lawsuit, the victim must be able to prove that the tire was defective and that the manufacturer was aware that the tire was defective. This can be difficult to do, but a skilled lawyer can assist the truck accident victim with the claims process.
What Injuries are Caused by Tire Blowout Accidents?
Truck accident victims rarely walk away from the incident unharmed. In fact, truck accidents, including those caused by tire blowouts, are some of the most devastating and destructive accidents on the road today. The following are examples of common truck accident injuries:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How can I Avoid a Tire Blowout Accident?
One way to avoid a tire blowout accident is to avoid being in the vicinity of a large truck that appears to have worn or deflated tires. However, this is not always easy to spot. In some cases, the tire issue may not be visible at all.
Motorists can reduce the risk of being involved in a truck accident caused by a tire blowout by using extra caution when driving near a large commercial truck. Always follow the speed limit, and do not get too close to a truck as commercial trucks have very large blind spots. In addition, if one of the truck’s tires has a blowout, the trailer will veer in the direction of the blown out tire, so any vehicle that is in the vicinity of the blown tire is at serious risk of being hit by the truck.
Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers at ACTS Law Represent Victims of Tire Blowout Truck Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident caused by a tire blowout, do not hesitate to contact the Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at ACTS Law. We understand that truck accidents are devastating. Our dedicated legal team will determine who is responsible for your tire blow out truck accident and fight to hold them accountable. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 833-ACTS-LAW or contact us online. Located in San Diego and Los Angeles, we serve clients throughout Southern California.