Anyone driving on the highway can see pieces of shredded tires lying alongside the road. Tire blowouts happen with alarming frequency on tractor-trailers, and the results can be tragic. When a tire blows, a large vehicle can suddenly become uncontrollable, and many trucks will slam into smaller vehicles at high speeds.
Contact MG Law today if you were hurt in a tire blowout accident in Georgia. Our truck accident lawyers will fight to obtain needed compensation to cover your losses.
Why Tires Blow
It’s a little surprising that so many truck tires blow considering how few tires on passenger sedans explode while in operation. Although car tires can definitely deflate, very few actually explode. However, commercial trucks are definitely much heavier and put more strain on their tires, so tire failure tends to be more dramatic. Also, commercial vehicles tend to travel much longer distances during the day, which also increases the strain.
Tire blowouts have many causes, including a failure to inspect the tire for worn tread or overinflation. Tires should be replaced promptly when they get worn out, but many truck companies are lax when it comes to checking and replacing tires.
Certain conditions can trigger a blowout, including:
- Heat, which leads to overinflation. Air expands in hot weather, and an overinflated tire is ripe for bursting.
- Underinflation. A tire with too little pressure is also at risk of failure.
- Worn tread
- Other wear and tear on the tire
- Heavy cargo load
- Excessive braking
- Defective tires
Who Is Responsible When A Tire Blows?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created detailed regulations that promote trucker safety. For example, the FMCSA requires that truckers systematically inspect their trucks according to a schedule. This inspection should include checking tires and replacing them. Truckers also must perform a pre-tip and post-trip inspection of the vehicle, noting any problems.
Trucking companies also should pull dangerous trucks from the fleet and not put them back into service until they have been fixed. This requirement also applies to tires that are worn or leaking. They also should not continue to use a mechanic who they know does shoddy work.
Not every blowout is the fault of the truck driver or his employer. For example, a tire might have been defectively designed or manufactured, which means the manufacturer is to blame. A defective tire could look perfectly fine to a truck driver but nevertheless fail at a critical moment.
Why Blowouts Are So Dangerous
After a tire explodes, big rigs pull hard to one side and become much harder to steer. For this reason, a truck driver could be jerked into an adjacent lane and even fly into oncoming traffic. A driver who overcorrects increases the odds of rolling over, which can crush vehicles in adjacent lanes.
Many truck drivers overreact to a blowout. For example, they might immediately hit the brakes when it is much safer to maintain regular speeds, at least until they get the truck under control. An unstable vehicle that is suddenly decelerating is an even greater risk.
Blowouts also cause debris to fly around the road. Other motorists might swerve to avoid hitting a big piece of tire and end up pinballing off other vehicles. Tire blowouts can lead to multi-car pileups on the highway, some of which are deadly.
Bringing A Claim For A Tire Blowout Accident In Georgia
Accident victims need to identify who is at fault for the accident so that they can bring a claim for compensation. The fact that a tire blows up helps establish fault for the simple reason that tires normally should not explode. However, we can strengthen the case by pinpointing the precise cause of the tire failure.
To this end, your attorney might request logbooks and inspection records to see whether anyone noted that tire tread was poor. The absence of solid records is itself damaging to trucking companies, since federal law requires that they regularly inspect truck tires and document the findings. We also might interview a truck driver or trucking company representative to ask about whether they knew something was wrong with the tire or the truck in the days leading up to an accident.
Speak With MG Law Today
Tire blowouts cause unique problems when it comes to getting compensation. For one, the pieces of tire might disappear, blown away by the wind. Reconstructing the accident requires skill and experience, which our attorneys can provide. Call MG Law to speak with a member of our team during a free consultation.