Don’t Ignore Under Inflated Tires With Big Rig Trucks!

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP March 25, 2015

Every year on our nation’s highways, tire problems cause thousands of accidents. These accidents are especially common with heavy trucks because they have more tires that create a significant hazard for all highway drivers. Attorneys who handle truck accidents note that it is critical to properly maintain correct pressure and inflation on truck tires. The law firms that deal with truck accident cases recommend that truck drivers and owners understand basic tire care and inflation in order to reduce the number of tire-related accidents.

Tire Inflation and Accident Prevention

Truck and car tires are not interchangeable; tires are designed to accommodate certain vehicle types,sizes, and wheel sizes. Attorneys who handle truck accidents note that passenger car tires are very different than those made for heavy trucks and stress that it is important that all drivers closely monitor tire pressure.

Tire pressure is one of the most important safety considerations, according to law firms that specialize in truck accidents. Each specific tire may require a different amount of inflation for maximum safe usage. Incorrectly inflated tires wear out quickly and unevenly, which can lead to premature tire failure – and a blowout. Blowouts can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and result in an accident. Lawyers specializing in truck wrecks advise that improperly inflated tires reduce traction and put loaded vehicles at risk.

Big trucks also known as 18-wheelers have 18 potential tire failures. Attorneys who help clients recover from injuries resulting from an accident with a commercial truck point out that big rig tires are frequently neglected unless obviously flat or damaged in such a way as to prevent the truck from being driven. This type of neglect results in as many as 11,000 trucking accidents a year, causing almost 200 fatalities.1 Safety studies show that 7 out of 10 vehicles on the roads, including big rigs, have under-inflated tires despite the fact this is a known cause of traffic accidents.2

Truck Tire Inflation – Keeping It Right

According to attorneys who specialize in truck accidents, drivers of heavy-duty trucks must routinely check their tires to avoid blowouts and other accidents. Such action should be done at least once a month with pressure gauges to be sure that the tires are holding the recommended amount of pressure. The frequency of tire inspection should increase if trucks are used frequently. It is imperative for highway safety that drivers of big trucks learn and maintain proper truck tire pressure at all times.

Along with checking regularly for correct tire pressure, lawyers who help clients with injuries from truck wrecks also point out that regular tire rotation will help keep tire wear even and increase the useable service life of a set of tires. These checks can also offer an opportunity for a thorough visual inspection of the tires. Any uneven wear or other problems can be noted during this inspection. The FMCSA specifically dictates how tires on commercial vehicles must be used in accordance with proper maintenance, load, and inflation standards, stating that “no tire should be in use that is below its recommended tire pressure rating.3 “

It is essential that truck drivers and trucking companies maintain proper tire pressure on their commercial vehicles. This is the best way according to the attorneys who specialize in truck accidents to avoid the possibility of danger on the road caused by excess wear, poor traction, and eventual tire failure. Such action is a simple way to prevent potentially deadly accidents on our highways.

1 Safety Compass: Deflate-Gate – Not Just An Issue for the NFL -1/23/15

2 Rubber Manufacturers Association: Survey Shows America Needs Inflation

3 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, Part 393: Parts and Accessories Necessary For Safe Operation