When truck tires are worn out, detreaded or not properly inflated, they can pose a significant risk to other drivers. Large commercial trucks can be complex to operate, even when the tires are in good condition. A large truck can easily lose control when a tire blows out or becomes deflated.
This is common when tires crack, develop bulges or the tread wears down over time. That's why tire safety is so critical to preventing crashes involving large commercial trucks. Since a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs., a single crash linked to a tire defect can result in a massive roadway catastrophe that could injure many people.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has strict regulations in place for trucking companies and fleet owners. No large commercial truck can be legally operated unless it has been properly inspected and maintained. In addition, accurate records must be kept regarding repairs and inspections.
Tire manufacturers offer some tips on tire truck safety
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is a national trade organization for American tire manufacturers. Among those are Bridgestone, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire, Michelin, Pirelli Tire and Yokohama Tire.
In early September, the USTMA launched an awareness campaign around tire safety. The campaign was originally set for May, but was moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization's message is for drivers of cars and trucks to regularly check their tires.
Here are some of the tips the organization has offered specifically to truck drivers and fleet owners:
- Maintain proper tire inflation. Improper tire inflation can affect the life of tires and overall truck performance. Truck drivers and fleet owners should regularly check their tires to ensure that they are properly inflated. One way to get an accurate tire pressure reading is to use a calibrated air gauge.
- Drive at a reasonable speed. Truck drivers may need to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, but driving at a high speed could reduce the life of tires, especially due to the added weight of cargo. When truck tires are always worn down, driving too fast can increase the risk of a highway blowout.
- Have tire tracking program in place. It's important that fleet owners regularly track tires for tread depth, wear patterns and deflation.
- Inspect tires before every trip. Truck drivers must also do their part to inspect tires for wear and tear, cracks, bulges, deflation or other defects that could be hazardous.
- Make sure wheels are aligned. Wheel alignment is critical for preventing irregular wear and tear on tires.
Contact an Ohio truck accident attorney if you were injured in a crash
Were you injured in a truck crash linked to a tire blowout or tire failure? Speak to an experienced Columbus truck accident attorney at Smith Law Office to learn about the legal options available to you.
Truck accidents are highly complex and often require thorough investigations. This includes checking records of maintenance from trucking companies and fleet owners. In some cases, these records may be altered, hidden or destroyed. Trucking companies are also known for hiring their own teams of investigators to cover up any wrongdoing on their part and on the part of their drivers.
Attorney Scott Smith has seen this happen many times and knows the tricks trucking companies and their insurers use to avoid accountability. If you were injured in a crash, you deserve every penny you're entitled to. Attorney Smith will fight to recover it all.