Summer travel can be particularly hazardous for a number of reasons: there is often more traffic on roadways due to summer vacations, more young drivers on the roads, more intoxicated drivers, and more dangerous tire blowouts. Most drivers have seen the evidence of truck tire blowouts strewn across the highway—strips of exploded tires and skid marks veering across the lines of traffic. When traffic is heavy, blowouts can lead to devastating truck accidents. According to Popular Mechanics, the period between mid-May and the end of October is known as tire-blowout season. This is because the heat of the pavement can transfer to the rubber tires, and any weakness in the tire’s structure can be catastrophic.
A tire blowout is not the same as a flat tire. When a tire blows out, it bursts, causing giant 18-wheelers to become unstable. In the event of a blowout, it can be hard to predict how a commercial truck or its driver will react. Often, blowouts will cause a truck to overturn or launch hazardous materials or heavy cargo onto the roadway and in the line of oncoming traffic. Sometimes, passenger vehicles are struck by the truck or cargo, or do not have sufficient time to react to the cargo that has been thrust in their path.
Other Causes of Tire Blowouts
Aside from the summer heat, there are a few other factors that are known to lead to tire blowouts. When any of these factors is in play during a hot summer day, the chances of a blowout increase exponentially.
Improper Maintenance. Trucking companies must regularly maintain their fleet, and ensure that their vehicles are safe to transport cargo. When commercial truck lines fail to adhere to safety standards, such as regularly replacing worn tires, blowouts can happen.
Improperly Inflated Tires. Trucking companies and drivers need to ensure that the tires on their vehicles are neither under- nor over- inflated. Overinflated tires can lead to blowouts because there is too much pressure on the rubber. Underinflated tires can also explode, because the warm summer air can cause the tire to expand and snap.
Road Hazards. Not all blowouts are preventable. Sometimes, other vehicles or road crews launch cargo into the path of trucks. When a truck drives over cargo or nails, the tire’s integrity can be compromised. Potholes and uneven pavement can also result in blowouts.
Overloading Trucks with Cargo. Trucks are meant to carry only a certain weight limit (Gross Vehicular Weight Rating). Trucking companies often try to stretch their profits by overloading vehicles with cargo, beyond what they can safely handle. This puts excessive pressure on tires, and can lead to blowouts.
Accumulated Damage. Tires do not usually blow out the moment they are damaged. However, driving around with too much or too little air pressure over time can wear down the rubber. Trucks must utilize a Tire Pressure Monitoring System to ensure that tires are properly inflated. When in doubt, have a professional check your tires for vulnerability.
Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Victims of Truck Tire Blowouts
If you have been injured as a result of a tire blowout, we can help you determine whether truck driver negligence or a manufacturing defect caused your injuries. The experienced Columbia truck accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. have a successful track record of representing truck accident victims. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online.
Our offices are located throughout South Carolina, where we proudly serve injured accident victims in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.