Shreds of tire on the highway have a tale to tell. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 6 percent of semi-truck accidents result from truck tire blowouts. In real terms, that is approximately 12,000 truck accidents annually primarily caused by tire blowouts. The statistics do not reflect the lives lost or impaired because of truck tire blowouts. While blown truck tires may account for less than 6 percent of truck wrecks, these are the accidents accounting for the highest number of deaths. Most, if not all, of these blowouts are preventable when vehicles and roads are maintained properly.
Tire Blowout Causes
Semi-trucks carry huge loads, but each vehicle has a weight limit with tires designed for that limit. When shippers overload trucks, it places extra wear and tear on the tires, making blowouts more likely to occur. Trucking companies are supposed to maintain their vehicles, but many fail to do so.
Truck drivers may play a role if they fail to notice tire damage or pressure loss and continue driving. Semis require regular inspection, but some companies may skip an inspection to save time, or the inspections are inadequate. Most tire problems are caught and fixed during the inspection process.
Other causes of tire blowouts include:
- Hitting an obstacle or pothole
- Over-inflation, especially in hot weather
- Underinflation, causing weakening and over-flexion
Truck Accidents and Tire Blowouts
Truck tire blowouts pose a hazard to truck occupants and any vehicles in the vicinity. A tire blowout results in a small explosion, and rubber, metal and debris fly everywhere. The instability of the vehicle and cargo due to the blowout means whatever the truck is hauling could head out the door. It is easy for the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, wreaking havoc in their path. This can cause a chain reaction as other motorist start panicking while trying to get away from the semi. It is always possible the truck could roll over.
Fatalities and serious injuries often follow truck tire blowouts. Such injuries may include:
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs
- Multiple fractures
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Tire Blowout Liability
When it comes to personal injury cases and truck accidents, determining which entities are liable for the tire blowout is critical. Generally, parties at fault include the truck driver, the trucking company and the truck maintenance company.
In some cases, the tire manufacturer may prove responsible for the blowout if a design flaw or manufacturing defect led to the accident. Other parties may hold some liability, such as a truck repair shop that did not install the tire correctly or failed to notice the defect.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Successfully Represent Injured Accident Victims and Their Families
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you need the services of an experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer. Call East Coast Trial Lawyers today at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. From our offices in Virginia Beach, we represent clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia.