Truck drivers travel many more miles per year than the average motorist. Consequently, tire blowouts are more likely to happen to a tractor-trailer compared to a vehicle used significantly less.
Truck tire blowouts are very dangerous, but fortunately, they occur less frequently than a flat tire. Blowouts most commonly happen when a trucker is traveling at a high rate of speed.
How common are tire blowouts?
Data last compiled by the federal government on blowouts was in between 2009 and 2013. An estimated 16,000 people died in bus or truck accidents during that time frame. At least 200 of those incidents resulted from tire blowouts, causing 223 fatalities.
Tire blowouts generally result from poor maintenance. Worn and defective tires are more prone to blowouts, especially in hazardous weather conditions. Certain driving conditions can increase the potential of a blowout occurring, including:
- Inclement weather
- Excessive breaking
- Mismatched tires with uneven tread patterns
- Over or under-inflated tires
- Hot weather
- Use of incorrectly sized tires
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes a monthly report of defective or recalled auto parts and products. The federal government also requires truckers to regularly inspect their trucks to ensure that it appears safe to operate them. Stress on tires can increase dramatically when trucks exceed the maximum sustainable speed of 75 mph.
Why are tire blowouts so dangerous?
Truckers generally lose control of their vehicle when a tire blowout occurs. This may cause them to travel off the roadway onto the shoulder, into oncoming traffic or an adjoining lane, causing a collision. This may not only put a trucker’s life at risk but also fellow motorists.
Trucks and passenger cars are no match for each other. A crash between the two can result in you suffering life-threatening injuries. Fortunately, Alabama law may allow you to hold a negligent motorist liable for any injuries you suffer in such an accident.