Truck with a tire off the rim

Truck AccidentsTire Blowout Accidents

Tire failures lead to Catastrophic Truck Accidents

Commercial Truck Drivers are required to inspect all truck tires before every trip.

Tire Failures Lead To Truck CrashesTires display signs of wear that alert drivers of a likely failure

Commercial truck drivers are required to conduct a pre-trip inspection to identify defective or worn tires. Part 396 of the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Act details the required inspections of equipment that must be made before each trip. The driver must be satisfied that the trailer and tractor are in safe operating condition before operating the commercial motor vehicle. These inspections must be documented by a driver vehicle inspection report. Many states have their own mandatory inspection programs that overlap and at times provide more stringent inspection requirements than the federal government.

Part 393 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act details the parts and accessories that are necessary for the safe operation of a commercial truck. The FMSCA provides specific standards for tires that are supposed to be checked as part of a pre-trip inspection. A truck may not be operated with a tire that has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or the sidewall of any tire. A truck may not be operated with any tire that has any tread or sidewall separation. Every tire must be inflated and can’t be operated with an audible leak. Each tire must meet minimum tread depths. The applicable requirements mandate a greater minimum tread depth for tires on the front wheels. The truck driver must make sure that the tires meet the required load and speed restrictions for the planned trip. The failure of a truck company or a driver to comply with these regulations risk catastrophic accidents.

Failing to properly maintain brake systems, improper loading of trailers, improper braking techniques and improperly greased wheel bearings can lead to increased tire wear and failure. If you or a loved one was injured by a commercial truck that may have had defective tires please contact a Board Certified Truck Accident Attorney for a free consultation. George Patterson offers free consultations at his Annapolis and Bowie offices.

Loss Of Control Due To Defective TiresImproperly inflated or worn tires cause Truck Accidents

Truck accidents due to defective or improperly maintained tires are preventable. After a serious truck accident an inspection of the tires should be done to determine if the truck crash should have been prevented by a proper pre-trip inspection. Proper tire pressure and tread depth is critical for a truck driver to maintain control when facing adverse conditions such as rain, snow, ice, slush or gravel. This could lead to tractor trailers jack knifing, failures to maintain control and striking stopped or slowing vehicles. Tires deteriorate quicker due to heat and sunlight exposure.

The average cost related to tires for a tractor trailer is about 3 to 4 cents a mile and can exceed $4,000 a year.

Proper Tire Pressure Prevents CrashesUnderinflated or over inflated tires can lead to deterioration and eventual blowouts.

Low tire pressure can result in increased stopping distances, skidding and loss of control crashes. Stopping distances generally increase with lower tire pressure and hydroplaning also increases with decreased tire pressure. Low tire pressure can lead to tire blowouts. Tire blowouts are associated with rollover crashes. Underinflated tires increase the chances of tripping. Tripping occurs when a vehicle slides and the tires dig in to soft ground and the vehicle trips. A severely underinflated tire can result to the rim digging into the roadway as a truck slides to the side rendering a rollover more likely.

Over inflated tires can result in decreased contact between the surface area of the tire and the road. This can negatively impact handling. Also, an overinflated tire can cause an increase in the temperature of the air and may even lead to a sudden blowout.

The cost of maintaining tires on a commercial truck is only about 3% of the annual costs to operate a truck. Unfortunately, this is a cost that many motor carriers and independent operators try to delay.

George Patterson

Board Certified Truck Accident Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence please contact the best personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The “best” injury lawyers may be reached at their Annapolis or Bowie offices at 301-888-4878.

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