An average of 8,000 truck crashes involve tire failures each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study. However, the cause of these tire failures is not always clear. While speed and tire maintenance may play a significant role, other factors can contribute to a failure.
If you’ve been injured in a tire-related truck wreck, identifying the causes and factors in the crash is essential. Keep reading to learn more about the most common cause of tire blowouts.
What Causes Truck Tire Blowouts and Failures?
A tire blowout describes a tire that bursts and loses air pressure rapidly, causing an immediate loss of control of the vehicle. Blowouts are sudden, startling, and devastatingly dangerous for all vehicles, but especially large trucks. The sudden loss of control often causes large trucks to swerve into other lanes or vehicles, causing catastrophic damage.
A combination of speed, tire damage, friction, and pressure typically causes a tire blowout. Other factors that may contribute to a truck tire failure include:
- Overly heavy truck loads
- Excessive heat
- Tire wear or tread damage
- Mismatched tires
- Misusing spare tires
- Defective or old tires
- Potholes and other road conditions
Sometimes, you need engineers and accident reconstruction experts to identify all the factors that strained the tire’s internal structure and caused the failure.
Texas Has the Highest Speed Limit in the Country
Texas is the only state in the U.S. with a highway speed of over 80 mph. State Highway 130, which runs between San Antonio and Austin, has a posted speed limit of 85 mph along specific stretches, the highest speed in the country—and one of the highest in the world.
Furthermore, while most states have slower speed limits for urban interstates and limited-access roads, Texas keeps traffic on many roads cruising along at 75 mph.
Most Commercial Truck Tires Can’t Tolerate Texas’s Speed Limits
Most truck tires are tested and designed to handle speeds up to 75 miles per hour. Unfortunately, many truck drivers aren’t aware that their tires can’t tolerate Texas’s highest speed limits. And whether the speed limit is 75 or 85, truck drivers are going much faster.
“Furthermore, the standard 75 mph rating only applies when the tire is operating under ideal conditions. If the truck tire is compromised by low pressure, overuse, road conditions, or other factors, it can fail at much lower speeds.”
During the 3-day 2018 International Roadcheck, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance put 3,156 trucks out-of-service due to tire and wheel violations. Tire and wheel issues were the second highest cause of out-of-service truck violations, behind only braking systems.
Multiple Companies May Be Liable for Truck Tire-Related Crashes
Many truck drivers and trucking companies fail to take tire maintenance and repairs seriously despite regulations set in place by the Department of Transportation. When the Crosley Law team handles a truck tire blowout case, we almost always demand copies of the truck’s service logs – looking for evidence of skipped inspections or shoddy repairs.
However, our investigation doesn’t stop there. We’ll also look for driver errors such as speeding or overloading a truck. Depending on the circumstances, there may be multiple at-fault parties, including the driver, the trucking company, anyone who loaded the truck’s cargo, and the fleet’s mechanics.
Finally, the fault for a tire-related crash may lie with the tire’s manufacturer and distributor. Tire product liability cases involve defective parts or designs that malfunction and contribute to a collision.
Determining all the parties responsible for your crash and injuries is often a complicated process and requires the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.
Crosley Law: Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been the victim of a truck wreck, you need a knowledgeable truck accident attorney by your side to help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Crosley Law, our attorneys have experience determining the cause of commercial truck crashes, whether that’s driver negligence, tire issues, or other product defects.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. (29 August, 2019). CVSA releases results from 2019 international roadcheck [press release]. Retrieved from https://www.cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-roadcheck-results/
IIHS. (2019). Maximum posted speed limits by state. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Highway Loss Data Institute. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/speed/speed-limit-laws
The large truck crash causation study – Analysis brief. (2007, July). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.