If you spend a significant amount of time driving around Texas highways, it’s almost a given that you have seen numerous signs of big truck tire blowout accidents. In most cases, you’ll see large pieces of black rubber on or alongside the road and they can sometimes be positioned in the road in a way that creates a danger for other vehicles on the road.
While these scattered chunks of rubber strewn all over the road may seem unimportant, they’re really not, because they’re an indication that a large truck’s tires are on the verge of a blowout, if it hasn’t already. And make no mistake; large truck tire blowouts are a very serious deal and cause truck accidents that leave behind significant devastation.
Big Truck Tire Blowouts Can Cause Devastating Consequences
Tire blowout accidents almost always happen suddenly and they are invariably very serious, resulting in serious injuries. The explosion of a truck tire can cause the driver of a tractor-trailer to completely lose control and crash into vehicles nearby.
In addition, the pieces of rubber flying all over the scene can cause other drivers to swerve or to suddenly slam on the brakes and the resultant chaos can lead to massive pile-ups involving many vehicles. Since a fully-loaded truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, the damage to smaller vehicles is almost always significant, as are the injuries.
There are a number of potential causes for large truck tire blowouts and virtually all are preventable. Besides excessive speed and high temperatures, some other common factors for tire blowouts include:
- Tires that are improperly installed;
- Tires that are not properly sized for the vehicle;
- Over-inflation or under-inflation;
- Tires that are heavily worn due to high mileage;
- Recapped tires that are improperly fitted;
- Spare tires that have been allowed to rot;
- Defective tires that are subject to recall, but have not been repaired or replaced.
All of the above factors are preventable simply by properly inspecting and maintaining the tires to keep them in good working order. In the wake of many such accidents, the driver and the trucking company will often try to blame the tire manufacturer for defects, but that usually doesn’t work, since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a monthly report to trucking companies that lists defective and/or recalled vehicle products such as tires, which is available at the NHTSA website, under Defects & Recalls.
Determining Liability In Truck Tire Blowout Accidents
In most truck tire blowout accidents, the driver whose truck tire blew out will usually be held responsible for the accident due to truck driver error. One reason is because, as part of their Commercial Driver’s License, drivers are legally required to conduct regular inspections of their vehicle for problems that a prudent driver would notice, including possible tire defects. They also have a duty to not drive with defective equipment, so if they’re aware of a tire defect, they are under a legal obligation to not drive that truck.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the driver alone is always the only party who can be held liable. Repair professionals who failed to find an obvious tire defect or who found it but didn’t fix it may be held liable. In addition, manufacturers, installers, and sellers can be held liable, depending on the circumstances.
Because of the complex nature of truck tire blowout accident cases, you need the assistance of an experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney, like those at the Liggett Law Group. Determining liability is a difficult concept and an experienced professional is needed on the case. If you or someone you love was involved in a crash linked to a tire blowout, please contact us as soon as possible, so that we can start work on getting you the compensation you deserve.