The Dangers of Tire Blowouts in Truck Accidents
Driving near large trucks can be extremely dangerous for one reason or another, yet few dangers of truck accidents are so visceral and sudden as tire blowouts, which involve one or multiple tires suddenly exploding under pressure, causing a trucker to instantly lose partial or complete control of their vehicle. The rubber that remains on the road can then go on to cause debris-related auto accidents as other cars swerve to avoid it, posing a serious risk for secondary collisions. If you’ve ever seen black, rubber fragments on the road, that’s where one such blowout occurred, as well as a possible scene of wrongful death.
How Tire Blowouts Happen
Mundane causes of tire blowouts such as potholes and roadway debris, while very real risks, aren’t the most common causes of tire blowouts for trucks. Rather, tire blowouts are usually caused by foreseeable incidents and negligence:
- Overloaded cargo: When truckers load an excessive amount of cargo onto their truck, the overloaded weight places additional strain on tires. If this cargo is then loaded improperly, shifting more strain onto a single tire or set of tires, blowouts become especially likely.
- Heat: The air in a tire expands when heated, so when truckers drive for too long in persistently hot weather, air temperature and friction with the road can cause a tire’s internal pressure to skyrocket.
- Poor maintenance/ incorrect tires: If a trucker fails to regularly inspect, maintain, and replace their tires, normal wear and tear will eventually lead to easily avoidable tire blowouts. This may also happen if a trucker uses mismatched tires or tires which are inappropriate for their vehicle.
- Defective tires: Even with appropriate tire maintenance and repair, the fault may lie with the manufacturer if the tire displays faults outside of the trucker’s control. Most truck defects are caught before they can cause an accident and recalled appropriately, but at times, these issues do slip under the radar.
Who’s Liable for a Tire Blowout Accident?
Tire blowouts are rarely the singular cause of truck accidents, as both the likelihood and severity of the crash will be influenced by other factors such as driver experience, maintenance procedures, roadway conditions, and any negligence that may have occurred. An attorney can help you determine who’s truly to blame, but as far as the tire blowout is concerned, one of three parties are likely to be liable:
- The truck driver may be responsible if they failed to comply with maintenance standards or reacted ineptly when their tire exploded.
- The trucking company may be liable if they were responsible for maintenance or if the driver was liable via a concept known as vicarious liability.
- The tire manufacturer will only be liable if a significant, avoidable defect was present in the tires used, leading to the blowout.
Talk to an Arizona Truck Accident Attorney
If you’re hurt in an Arizona truck accident as a result of a tire blowout, be sure to schedule a free consultation with one of ELG’s Arizona truck accident attorneys today by giving us a call at (623) 877-3600. We can help you determine who was responsible for the blowout, securing you as much compensation as possible to help you recover from the extensive financial, physical, and emotional damages truck accidents tend to cause.