Tractor Trailer Accidents Caused by Tire Blowouts

In March, a tractor-trailer accident shut down I-95 in Harnett County. The truck driver was headed north on I-95 on Thursday afternoon when a truck tire blew out. After the truck tire blew out, the truck slid into the guardrail. The truck was carrying 43,000 pounds of tomatoes and cabbage when the accident occurred. Thankfully, the driver was able to stop the truck from hitting other vehicles. The driver had to kick out the windshield to escape the driver cab. Unfortunately, not all tractor-trailer accidents caused by a tire blowout end so well. Tire blowouts can cause fatal collisions.

Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts

The most common causes of serious tractor-trailer accidents include drowsy driving, distracted driving, and drunk driving. However, a tire blowout can also cause a devastating accident. Many tire blowout accidents can be prevented by ensuring that tires are replaced if the tread is worn down. Sometimes tire blowout accidents happen due to debris in the road or a pothole. However, the vast majority of these accidents are caused by some type of driver or manufacturing error, or a failure to properly maintain the truck.

Truck Driver Error

Truck driver error is one of the most common causes of tire blowouts. Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly and regularly maintained. Maintaining the truck tires includes regularly checking the air pressure in the tires and their treads. If the air pressure is low or the tire treads are worn, there will be an increased risk of a tire blowout. If the truck hits a pothole or curb, the tire is at a greater risk of experiencing a blowout if the treads are worn or should have already been replaced.

Improper Tire Inflation

If a commercial vehicle is not properly inspected on a regular basis, there are many potentially serious issues that may go undetected and therefore not addressed. Poor tire inflation is one of those issues. If a truck has poor tire inflation for a significant amount of time, the tires’ internal components are forced to flex beyond their limitations. With under-inflated tires, the internal tire components will weaken and eventually fail, increasing the chances of a tire blowout.

Improperly Installed Tires

Because semi-trucks are so large and heavy, it is important that their tires are installed by a qualified mechanic. When tires are not installed by someone who is qualified to do so, the chances of a tire blowout accident increase. Careless mistakes made while installing tires can lead to a devastating accident.

Overloaded Trucks

Loading semi-trucks properly is an important step in preventing truck accidents. When the truck's trailer is loaded with too much cargo, more weight is put on the truck’s tires than they are designed to handle. This happens even when the tires are properly inflated. Sometimes, truck companies will try to overload trucks to save money, but this practice can cause dangerous blowout accidents and other types of truck accidents.

Manufacturing Defect

A tire blowout is sometimes the fault of the tire manufacturer, not of the trucking company or the truck driver. Tire manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure that their tires are reasonably safe. If they sold a defective tire, and the defective tire caused your injuries, you may have a valid legal claim against the tire manufacturer.

Inadequate Vehicle Inspections

Commercial trucking companies have a legal duty to ensure that their trucks are inspected on a regular basis. Doing so helps identify a range of mechanical issues, including tires that have started to wear out and those with low tire pressure. When these issues are not identified and fixed at regularly scheduled maintenance appointments, there is an increased risk of a serious accident.

Who Is Liable for a Tire Blowout?

If you have been injured in a tire blowout accident, we recommend reaching out to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can begin investigating the accident to determine who is liable. The truck driver, trucking company, maintenance company, tire manufacturer, or another third party may be responsible for your injuries.

Reach Out to an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

Have you or your loved one been seriously injured in a tire blow accident involving a semi-truck in North Carolina? If so, we recommend reaching out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We have recovered millions in compensation for clients and want to put our skills and experience to work for you. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your legal rights.

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