How many trucks do you think you pass in a day? If you regularly commute or travel on major highways, that number is probably a lot. You know they can swerve into your lane without warning and might be a risk for rolling over, so you keep a cautious eye on them as you pass. You probably don’t think about the dangers that you can’t reasonably predict happening right before your eyes, like a truck tire about to give way.
When truck tires blows out, it can be comparable to a small explosion. Imagine experiencing that as you’re driving next to a big-rig going down the highway at a higher rate of speed. The consequences can be quick and devastating because you won’t see this truck accident coming or have any time to react and avoid whatever comes next.
How dangerous is a tire blowout?
Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that tire blowouts are responsible for over 75,000 accidents and 400 driver deaths each year. That’s nearing one death per month per state. These blowouts have the propensity to cause a chain reaction for any vehicles in the vicinity of the truck and are a huge risk for rollovers to occur as a result of the truck’s weight being thrown off balance.
Top-heavy vehicles, such as semi-trucks, are much more susceptible to un-tripped rollovers. The height of the vehicle and heavy weight make it too difficult for a driver to correct once the weight begins to move in the opposite direction of the cab. When a tire blows and the driver suddenly loses control, the end result can be tens of thousands of pounds toppling over as it’s hurled across the highway like a wrecking ball.
Common injuries you can sustain when a truck tire blows include:
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Psychological trauma
One potentially serious ramification of being the victim of a truck accident is the potential to experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For some people, the normal range of emotions they might feel after being involved in an accident such as this don’t go away. You can relive the accident in your mind over and over and even the slightest action can set off feelings of fear, panic, or grief.
What triggers a blowout?
There are two primary catalysts at the root cause of any truck tire blowout: not properly inspecting the tires on a regular basis before heading out onto the road, and failing to replace tires that are worn or appear defective or damaged. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) views shirking these responsibilities as a violation of duty that embodies negligent behavior.
There are a host of hazards truck drivers and their maintenance team are responsible for tending to such as:
- Tire under-inflation can mean having less control over the vehicle and makes tires more susceptible to punctures or cuts.
- Over-inflation caused by heat, which can come from excessive speed.
- Overloading cargo, which places increased pressure on tires that could cause them to burst.
- Ordinary wear and tear of tires, which requires periodic replacement to avoid blowouts.
- Excessive wear on tires resulting in dangerously low tire tread, which increases risk of puncture or exploding.
- Mismatched or improperly sized tires for the truck, which can cause uneven tire wear.
- Failure to monitor tire recalls, and ensuring replacement when necessary.
- Excessive braking, which places more wear on tires giving them a shorter than normal lifespan.
- Road hazards such as debris or potholes can also cause tire blowouts.
Tire blowouts can be terrifying events when you watch one unfold in front of you. The loud burst of noise followed by an oversized vehicle careening out of control while having no way of avoiding its devastating path can cause emotional trauma as well as the physical injuries you’ve sustained. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. know the catastrophic consequences many victims are left to face, and the financial resources required to properly deal with them.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck tire blowing out or any other event that caused harm, let us help you begin putting the pieces of your life back together. To schedule your free consultation in our Minot or Bismarck offices, call 701-484-4878, or reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
Mark Larson is a Certified Civil Trial Specialist and Certified Civil Pre-Trial Specialist focusing on personal injury, motor vehicle, wrongful death, and oil field claims. Since 1979, Larson Law Firm has served the injured throughout North Dakota. Read more about Mark V. Larson