Last time, our blog began discussing why it’s important not to simply discount “road gators” — the slang term for pieces of truck tire tread — as more freeway detritus, as they are often a manifestation of negligence on the part of a trucker or trucking company.
Specifically, we talked the correlation between road gators and tire blowouts, which occur when the tires on which trucks are riding experience a massive structural failure. We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, exploring some of the causes of tire blowouts and how the aforementioned negligence comes into play.
Why do truck tire blowouts occur?
Outside of inadvertently running over something that causes a puncture, truck tire blowouts typically occur because of such factors as underinflation, overloading, potholes and improper maintenance.
Why is underinflation such a problem?
If a tire is not properly inflated, it will cause the internal elements such as the rubber, steel, fabric and other composites to flex beyond their capacity. This, in turn, will cause the tire to weaken internally and, if left unaddressed for a sufficient amount of time, ultimately break down (i.e., experience a blowout).
Why are potholes an issue?
Potholes are problematic because if a tire runs into them in just the right way, it can cause the internal tire components to be squeezed between the wheel and the roadway. If this happens repeatedly or the pothole is deep enough, it can cause the fraying or severing of these internal components, and an eventual blowout.
How does negligence play a role?
In the wake of a truck tire blowout that causes a serious or even fatal accident, questions naturally arise as to whether negligence on the part of a trucker and/or trucking company was to blame.
For instance, did the blowout occur because the tire was underinflated or damaged by a pothole, meaning things that would have been apparent if a routine inspection had been conducted? Was the truck overloaded such that the tires were pushed beyond their “maximum load” or structural limit? Were the tires properly maintained and/or replaced?
How can motorists protect themselves?
While motorists have no way of determining when or where a truck tire will fail, experts indicate they can provide themselves with some measure of protection by maintaining a safe distance, meaning never riding directly alongside, in front of, or behind a semi.
Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible if you’ve been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident that you believe was directly attributable to the recklessness of a trucker or trucking company.