Truck Tires and Accidents – How Are They Related?

With so many big rigs traveling our highways and roads, trucking accidents are bound to happen. Tire failure is a significant cause of many trucking accidents and can happen without any warning.1 Attorneys who specialize in helping injured clients recover from accidents with heavy-duty trucks know that it is important to understand how such failures happen. This knowledge can prevent tire failures and any resulting accidents.  

Truck Tire Failure – How and Why It Happens

Tires fail on commercial vehicles for two main reasons: 1) there are more tires on commercial trucks and 2) tire damage is more prevalent on commercial truck tires.

  • More Tires – Commercial trucks have eighteen tires, more than four times greater than an average passenger vehicle. With more tires comes a greater risk of tire damage and failure.

  • Increased Risk of Tire Damage – Tire failures often occur because heavy-duty commercial truck tires do wear out or become unexpectedly damaged. According to attorneys who handle truck accidents, this fact alone contributes to some truck accidents.

Truck Tire Durability and Damage

Commercial truck tires are designed to be more durable than the average tires on passenger vehicles. They are larger, have more layers, and can include technology designed to allow for retreading or regenerating. These tires can still fail in certain ways.

  • Tread Detachment – Tread detachment is the most common cause of tire failure in big trucks that leads to loss of control and accidents.1 There are many reasons why tread detachment happens: poor repairs; excess fatigue caused by under-inflation; aging treads; damage caused by mounting; prior impacts from hitting curbs or potholes; imperfect retreading; and rusting of steel cables within treads.

  • Old Tires – Old tires can fail due to dry rotting, use-related hardening or tread separation, and other forms of degradation. Tires with flat, worn treads can fail in the ways mentioned above or lose control that indirectly produces lateral force that can cause a tire to blow or the treads separate.

  • Defects – Defects can occur in any tire, even new ones. If the defect involves the tread, sidewall, or any other part of the tire, unexpected failure can happen, It is important for truck owners to be aware of any tire manufacturer recalls and act accordingly.

Truck Tire Retreading and Regenerating

Commercial truck tires expensive. As a result, most are designed to be retreaded or regenerated. Retread tires are not any more likely to fail than new tires if the retreading was performed properly and the tire was correctly inspected for any other defects.2 Regenerating tires have two distinct, separate tread layers. The second layer protects the tire if the first tread layer comes off. Failure of regenerating tires is similar to any other tire. The difference is that they can produce twice as much tread to be lost and hit other vehicles or become road debris.

Frequent tire inspection, repair, and replacement is key to preventing accidents caused by truck tire failure including blowouts, tread detachment, and other damage. Experienced attorneys who handle truck accidents advise that trucking companies should follow current industry tire safety rules. Such standards include not placing retreads on steering axles and replacing any other tires once they reach the recommended replacement age or wear. Anyone who has been injured in a commercial truck accident caused by tire failure should seek help from attorneys experienced with helping clients seek compensation for their injuries.

1Crash Forensics – Tire Failure Analysis
2Modern Tire Dealer – No Debris Debate

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