Truck Accidents Caused by Defective Tires
If you’ve ever had a tire blowout, you know it’s one of the terrifying things a motorist can go through. A blowout occurs when the tire loses pressure suddenly. A car may shift rapidly due to the pressure drop, leading the driver to lose control. The repercussions for a passenger car may be severe. They can be nothing short of devastating for a massive semi-truck.
While tire blowouts aren’t as common as they once were, looking at the tire fragments on the side of the road will show you that they still happen. Damage, heat, and underinflation are all variables that might cause a tire to blow out. Tire flaws, on the other hand, are one of the most prevalent causes of tire blowouts.
Tire Problems in Large Trucks are Common
How frequently do you consider your car’s tires? What about the truck right next to you? Isn’t it a large set of tires? Most of us don’t think about tires until we receive a warning that it’s time to rotate them or a small light on the dashboard blinks on. Drivers of huge cars, on the other hand, must consider their tires regularly. If they don’t, it might result in a fatal truck collision.
Before each travel, the federal government mandates all drivers to perform a daily inspection. This involves a comprehensive examination of all tires. Unfortunately, despite these precautions, tire issues remain a severe issue in the transportation business.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 10% of all fatal collisions involving trucks in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study featured at least one car problem. While brake problems were at the top of the list, tires came in second for car-specific difficulties.
Defects in Tires: Recalls Aren’t Always Enough
We depend on car component manufacturers to supply high-quality parts for our cars as drivers. These components have the potential to make the difference between life and death. Drivers and employers in the trucking sector have similar expectations. They anticipate that the tires they utilize will comply with federal and state safety regulations.
Tire recalls occurring at an alarmingly high rate, unfortunately. In 2019, 14 distinct tire recalls were announced in the United States, with several of them affecting major brands. Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. issued a recall in August of that year, impacting 4,045 commercial vehicles.
According to the recall, the tires may have a problem that might “develop into a tire failure in the sidewall,” according to the recall. While no one was killed or injured due to this recall, it happened eight months after the tires were manufactured.
Who Is Liable For An Accident Caused By A Defective Tire?
It seems self-evident that if a manufacturer creates a defective item, they should be held accountable. In almost all circumstances, the maker will bear some liability in the event of a death or injury. A recall does not absolve this obligation. However, in many circumstances, the maker isn’t the only one who bears responsibility. Those who may be held accountable include:
Manufacturer of Tires
After everything is said and done, the tire maker should bear the majority of the blame. They have a legal obligation to make a product that is safe for everyone. If they fail, they should tell the public promptly and remove any items off the shelves. Regrettably, recalls are often insufficient. According to research conducted by the National Traffic Safety Board, 56 percent of the 3.2 million tires recalled during four years remained on the road.
Distributor of Tires
During a tire recall, the manufacturer must notify all owners and dealers that sell that particular tire. At this time, the manufacturer should remove any recalled tires from its shelves as soon as possible. If a distributor continues to sell damaged tires or fails to remove them in a timely way, drivers’ lives are jeopardized.
The Lorry Driver
The majority of truck drivers are well-versed in their tires. They know how they should appear, how they should tread, and how to spot damage. While not all flaws are obvious, early symptoms of damage are often evident.
Drivers should not use tires with apparent faults or damage. Additionally, the driver is responsible for staying informed about tire recalls and replacing any tires that have been recalled.
Employer of a Truck Driver
The employer’s responsibilities are comparable to those of the driver. Even if they don’t perform daily inspections, they should be informed about recalls. They should tell what sort of tires are on their cars and see any problems fast. In the case of a recall, the employer should pull the car off the road right away, not at the end of the shift or the week.
A technician or a maintenance shop
Repair businesses, like employers, should be notified of any current recalls. They have a responsibility to notify the employer and driver if they notice a car with bad tires. There’s also no justification for ignoring defect signals, failing to notice abnormal wear, or using recalled components.
Other Tire Problems
Defective tires are just one facet of the issue. A variety of things may influence tire safety. High temperatures in Colorado may exacerbate these problems since severe temperatures render tires more sensitive to blowouts. Summer is so severe that many tire specialists refer to May through August as “blowout season.” Other elements that may have an impact on tire performance and car safety are:
It’s a frequent fallacy that most tire blowouts are caused by overinflation. In reality, the opposite is true. When a tire is underinflated, the side of the tire bends, creating heat, according to Firestone.
A tire blowout may be caused by too much heat, as we discovered before. Before each travel, drivers should check their tire pressure. The US Department of Transportation advises drivers to check their tire pressure every day while the car is still cold since readings will rise as the car warms.
You know how crucial tire care is if you own a car. If there’s a leak, you take care of it. If the tread on your tires is worn down, it’s time to replace them. Tire rotations and routine maintenance not only improve the life of the tires but also keep you safe.
These precautions are critical for truck drivers. Maintenance records may demonstrate when the tires were last maintained and their condition at the time of the accident in the case of accident.
Weight guidelines are provided for every tire. This is the maximum weight that the car should transport to keep its tires in good shape. However, if a driver is behind schedule or has to transport extra freight, he or she may violate these weight limitations. This is an extremely unsafe technique that may quickly degrade the tires. If a motorist does this often, they may not notice anything is amiss until it is too late.
Damage from Debris
Unfortunately, not all accidents can be avoided. While tires may survive some damage, colliding with a heavy or sharp piece of debris can result in considerable, unpredictably damaging damage. No amount of preparation or procedures could have avoided the disaster in this scenario. As a result, drivers must constantly be aware of reacting to a tire blowout swiftly and safely.
How to Demonstrate a Tire Defect
Unfortunately, even when the facts are unmistakable, most defendants and insurance companies refuse to accept blame. That is why it is critical to record and gather evidence to support your claim. While some evidence may be available at the time of the accident, your lawyer can assist you with the remainder.
Photos of the accident may be used to show a tire issue. You’d be shocked at how much information changes between the time of the accident and when you speak with the insurance company. In the case of an accident, you never know how a motorist would respond. If their carelessness caused the accident, their employment might be jeopardized, and they may respond appropriately. It should be quite straightforward to identify a tire blowout after an accident. Take photos of the tire, any debris, and the truck’s condition after the collision.
Inspection and maintenance logs It’s critical to understand when a car is serviced, where the work was done, and what components were used in the repair or maintenance. Inspection reports are also useful since they may give a lot of information. Inadequate inspections, absent inspections, or previous knowledge of a fault may all be shown.
Notifications of recalls. Is there a recall from the manufacturer? Did they give the transportation business a heads-up? Did the notification reach the transportation company? The answers to these questions may reveal the extent to which each participant bears responsibility.
information about consumers. There may not be an active recall in certain circumstances. Whether all other elements are in order, it’s a good idea to see if there have been any other accidents involving the same tire and if the manufacturer is aware of any unresolved concerns. You may be able to allege gross negligence if the maker had previous information and failed to issue a timely recall.
What to Do If a Tire Blowout Occurs
Tire blowouts are particularly harmful since they impact more than just the truck and the car with which they strike. Debris may fly into the path of oncoming traffic, causing additional collisions. Here are some safety suggestions:
Maintain a safe distance. Driving too near to a semi-trailer is never a smart idea. You must also consider other mechanical issues, the truck’s load, and its blind areas, in addition to the chance of a blowout. It’s usually preferable to avoid driving alongside a huge truck if at all possible. Allow lots of space if you’re traveling behind a big truck.
Make your way over. If you witness a tire blowout, get away from the car as soon as possible and securely. Do not slam on the brakes or drive into another car’s path. On its own, this may result in an accident. Slow down in a safe and controlled way if you’re driving the truck.
Secure your seatbelt. If you wear your seatbelt, your chances of survival are substantially better in the case of an accident. Always buckle up, no matter how far you’re driving or how slowly you’re going. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10% of car passengers do not use their seatbelts.
Recognize Your Rights
While some small car accidents might not need the assistance of an attorney, massive truck accidents nearly never do. Multiple parties are often involved in these instances, which may be exceedingly intricate. It will be more crucial than ever to show blame and guilt in the instance of a damaged tire.
Accident victims in Colorado have four years to initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault party. While this may seem to be a long time, depending on the intricacy of the case and the severity of your injuries, the deadline may come up sooner than you think.
In addition, evidence might be lost with time. If you’ve been in an accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can assist you in obtaining the attention you need and begin working on your case.
Your rights are important. You may be eligible for financial compensation if you are involved in an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a faulty tire, don’t hesitate to speak with an expert attorney about your legal options.