Have you driven one day and can see chunks of tires on the road? Maybe you are bothered if they can damage your car.
Or maybe you are concerned if they can cause some accident to you. Well, did you know that 50,000 crashes were reported in 2011-2014 because of tire debris?
If this is true, you are maybe worried for yourself. You know you must avoid tire debris at all costs.
But why are there tire pieces on the highway? Where do they come from?
You can see pieces of tires on the road because of tractor-trailers. When trailers experience a blowout because of driving at a great speed, they leave the tire pieces over the road.
There can be different reasons why a blowout takes place. But when this happens, the tire is shredded into pieces.
They will be left off the road as road gators. This is why you can see pieces of tires on the road.
Here is a video that can show you why there are tire pieces on the highway. Watch this to see how this can happen.
The Causes of Tire Blowout
Trucks cannot avoid tire blowouts. What drivers can do is take precautions.
But it is a sad thing that companies put their employees at risk because they do not do the right maintenance for their trucks. They also do not follow safety rules.
Because of this, extreme car accidents can happen. Also, the tire treads can injure other people while they remain on the road.
If you want to know the causes of tire blowouts, you can consider the following:
1. Highway Hazards
Road debris can be a reason for a tire blowout. Potholes may be hard to avoid when you are on a highway.
Especially if you drive more than 50 mph. If you hit a pothole, your tire can be damaged.
It can make your tire burst.
2. Overloaded Trailers
A trailer should have a maximum weight. This depends on the type of truck that you drive.
If this is not followed, your tire can have a blowout. Usually, a trailer should not weigh over 70,000 pounds.
You should also remember that the load capacity of your trailer should be carefully maintained. If it becomes overloaded, its tires can explode.
3. Low Tire Pressure
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said that tires with low tire pressure are the main reason for a blowout. You should follow the truck’s recommended tire pressure to ensure efficiency.
Trucks travel long distances. So, it is necessary to check the tire pressure regularly.
Air pressure decreases after some time. If you fail to refill your tires, they can burst as you travel at great speed.
You should also watch out for leaks in your tires. When this happens, you must repair your tires.
4. Defective Products
Defective materials are sometimes found in the market. So, you must stop using tires that are under recall.
Every trucking company should stay up-to-date with all safety notices.
5. Bad Loading Practices
Cargo should be properly balanced. They must be balanced properly from front to back and left to right.
6. Improper Maintenance
You need to properly maintain your tires. These are the things that you should do.
- Be sure that the wear is even.
- You must regularly check the tire pressure.
- Meet the tread depth standards.
- Have your truck inspected regularly.
- Always replace worn tires.
- Do not exceed the maximum load capacity.
Here you can watch a video about the cause of the tire blowout.
The Danger of Blown Truck Tires
Tire debris is the reason for 39,000 injuries. 500 deaths have been recorded in the US because of it.
Accidents are more likely to happen because of tire debris. Especially on the interstate highway.
Tire debris is so dangerous. A truck is driven at 75-80 mph and the tire debris has the same speed.
It can strike a passing vehicle. It can destroy the windshield or hit the passenger.
An accident can surely happen because of flying debris. 37% of deaths in car accidents in the US are by swerving vehicles.
So, flying debris can get you injured. Or worse, it can be the cause of your death.
How to Protect Yourself From Tire Debris
You should learn how to drive defensively to protect yourself. This means having a good distance from other vehicles while driving.
You should prevent tailgating, especially if you are driving together with large trucks. Do not follow other vehicles too closely.
This can cause accidents. Have a good space for you to move whenever you have a sudden stop, drop cargo, or swerve.
You may learn to avoid tire debris through defensive driving. You can look beyond and scan the road while driving.
This way, you can spot the debris and you can slow down when needed. Even if the debris is unavoidable, you can avoid it by lowering your speed.
This way, you can reduce the impact as it strikes your car.
Holding Trucking Companies Liable
If you get injured because of a tire blowout, you can make the trucking company liable. Because of uneven wear and improper inflation, your tires can explode.
But this can be avoided if trucking companies have regular inspections of their tires. This will not happen if they maintain proper procedures.
But because you had a blowout, it means that they failed to do so. You can hold the trucking company responsible.
Failure to maintain the truck is negligent behavior. If accidents result, you can file a claim.
You can ask for damages if you suffer injuries. You can sue the driver and the trucking company because of the unsafe tires that they have failed to check.
There can be circumstances for the claim. They are the following:
Suing When You Can See the Truck
If you had a crash because of the shredded tires of the truck that you can see, it is surely the truck’s mistake. Companies should comply with strict rules on retreaded tires.
Usually, you must not use them on the front wheels. They should also check the pressure to ascertain that the tires are not underinflated.
After seeing the truck cause your crash, you must hold them responsible. Though sometimes, the truck driver may be also surprised by the tire failure.
But even in this case, you can still sue the driver and the truck company for negligence. You are still the victim of the consequences.
Suing For Abandoned Tire Shreds
It may be difficult to pursue the truck when the tire shreds are left on the road. You may not tell where they come from.
So, you may not know who to sue if you have injuries. But there can be ways to track down the truck.
Truck accident lawyers can do this. You can also file insurance for your damages.
How to Check Your Tires
Tires can be impaired because of various reasons. This can usually happen when you are not aware that there is a problem.
The most common types of damage are irregular wear, bulges, cracks, impacts, cuts, and punctures. To prevent this from happening, you should diagnose the issue.
You should check your tires regularly. Here are the things that you should do to check your tires:
1. Identify a Cut
Cuts are the outcome of bad road conditions. They happen when external influences come in contact with your tires like sharp objects.
If you have found a cut on the surface of your tire, you should go to the local tire dealer. Get your tires checked by a mechanic.
2. Identify a Sidewall Indentation
Your sidewall may not be even at all times. It can have dimples and indentations.
So, a thorough inspection is needed to know the causes. You should know if they are harmless.
Will they affect the safety characteristics of your driving? Though, you should know that dimples are superficial.
Indentations affect the strength and stability of your tires because they transfer the braking forces. Indentations are visible overlaps after the tire is inflated.
To be sure, have your indentations checked by a tire specialist.
3. Identify an Impact Break
An impact break is an impairment when the tires experience some obstacles. This is a bulge in the sidewall that denotes damaged cords in the carcass.
This happens when you drive over curbs or speed bumps. Also, when you are driving at too much speed or when you are driving at the wrong angle.
It can overstress the carcass and make each cord to be destroyed. If you are careful, you can prevent this damage.
If you ignore this damage, it can cause tire failure. The tire sidewall can disintegrate.
An impact break can go together with a sidewall indentation. Though, these two things are not the same.