What happens when a driver loses control of an 80,000-pound semi-truck? It’s not difficult to imagine the potential devastation. Because truck accidents are so dangerous, the drivers and trucking companies that operate commercial trucks in Georgia must follow strict federal guidelines. These guidelines regulate the inspection and maintenance of truck tires. When trucking companies and drivers fail to properly install and maintain their tires, they increase the risk of a tire blowout that could lead to a serious accident.
Common Causes of Tire Blowouts
There are many reasons why tire blowout accidents happen. However, many of these accidents can be prevented with a proper tire inspection—simply looking at the tires and kicking them is not enough.
Semi-truck tire blowouts can result from:
- Improper tire maintenance
· Over-inflated tires
· Rotted tires
· Bad spare tires
· Tire tread separation
· Using the wrong tires for the semi-truck or trailer
A tire that is used on a commercial truck must be properly inflated. It may not have any exposed body ply or belt material on the tread or sidewall. It may not have tread or sidewall separation. It shouldn’t have low tread or any audible leaks. The load in the truck must be less than the maximum load that the truck tires are capable of safely carrying.
Federal Regulations for Checking Truck Tires
Federal regulations require that drivers check the following before every trip:
- Tire condition – The driver should visually check that the tread is evenly worn. He should inspect the tires for cuts or other damage to sidewalls or tread. He should make sure that every valve cap and stem are present and in good shape.
- Tread depth – The tire must have a minimum tread depth of 4/32 inch on the steering axle tires and 2/32 inch on all other tires.
- Tire inflation – The driver should check tire pressure using a tire gauge or similar device.
- Tire size – All the tires should be the same size. Dual tires should not touch and there should be nothing stuck between them.
- Tire type – All tires should be of the same type. Radial and bias should not be mixed. The tires should be appropriate for the vehicle and be able to handle the load it is carrying.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Atlanta
Life-threatening injuries can occur from a semi-truck tire blowout due to the deadly force with which the tire debris may move outward from the truck. Cars traveling beside or behind the truck may have little to no time to react to the debris. The debris could also block the driver’s sight and cause the driver to swerve wildly or otherwise react suddenly.
It is responsibility of the truck driver and company that owns or leases the truck to make sure that the tires are safe. When truck tires are not properly maintained or inspected, the driver and the company that he or she drives for can be held liable for any personal injuries or deaths that can result from the improper maintenance.
For more information about your rights after a truck accident, please contact Kaufman Law, P.C. to speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer.