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Truck Tire Blowout Accidents

1 Riverway, Suite 2325

Houston, Texas 77056

(832) 835-0000

The Texas Gulf Coast has one of the highest densities of commercial trucking traffic in the nation, which means that it also has one of the highest rates of truck accidents involving tractor-trailer rigs. Of these accidents, many are due to tire blowouts.

The tires on a big rig are designed and tested for much higher load ratings than the tires on the family car. Still, anyone who has seen an 18-wheeler have a blowout knows how quickly a tire can turn into flying chunks of deadly shrapnel that can cause serious accidents and injuries.

In order to determine responsibility for a tire blowout truck accident, an attorney will look for the answers to four important questions:

  • Did the driver inspect the tires as required by federal safety regulations?
  • Did the trucking company have a tire inspection program?
  • Were the tires properly installed?
  • Were the tires new or recapped?

With these questions as a guide, we can now look at how a tire blowout accident could have been prevented.

  • Did the driver inspect the tires as required by federal safety regulations?

The driver of a tractor-trailer truck is required by federal trucking regulations to perform a walk-around inspection of his truck before starting on a trip and every time he starts up again after his mandatory rest periods. This inspection is supposed to include special attention to the tires of his vehicle, particularly a visual inspection of each tire for uneven wear patterns and a check of the tires’ air pressure.

Most truck drivers do not check their tire pressures by using a tire pressure gauge but by the “tire thumper” method: hitting each tire with something heavy to guess tire pressure by how the tire “sounds” or “feels.” Although obviously inaccurate, this is the way most truckers operate each day. Even among truckers that bother to use gauges, the pressures often vary significantly from the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Many truck drivers will deliberately over-inflate tires to improve fuel mileage or to increase driver comfort. These over-inflated tires will often explode in hot weather, such as the hot weather often seen in the Houston area.

  • Did the trucking company have a tire inspection program?

Many trucking companies have written safety inspection procedures that are supposed to be performed on each truck every time that truck leaves the company maintenance garage. This safety inspection is supposed to include special attention to the tires on both the tractor and the trailer. The results of the inspection, as well as any repairs that were made, must be documented in the truck’s records and in those of the garage.

  • Were the tires properly installed?

Trucking company shops will often change and rotate tires as a part of routine maintenance on each truck. Both the trucking industry and tire manufacturers have established national certification programs that certify tire changers and technicians as having met standards in both tire installation work experience and specialized training. If a tire was not installed and inspected by a certified tire technician, there is the possibility that the tire was either defective or not properly installed.

  • Were the tires new or recapped?

Many trucking companies will install only new tires on their tractor-trailer rigs as a matter of company policy since recapped or used tires have a high failure rate. However, there are times when a recapped tire will be installed as a "temporary fix" when a truck develops tire problems while on the road.

When a recapped tire fails while a truck is traveling at highway speed, the result is usually that a large piece of the tire goes flying away from the truck. This piece of tire can weigh several pounds and can cause major damage to anything that it hits, especially lightweight family automobiles.

Call the Houston Truck Accident Lawyer at the Doan Law Firm

If you have been involved in a Houston truck accident that may have been caused by a defective tire or truck tire explosion, call the Houston truck accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm to learn if your accident could have been prevented if the truck didn’t have a bad tire. The Houston truck accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm will be able to tell you if your Houston truck tire accident might result in a claim against the driver, his employer, or both.

Call the Houston truck accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm today at 832-835-0000 today for your free case evaluation.

The Doan Law Firm:

1 Riverway, Suite 2325

Houston, Texas 77056

(832) 835-0000

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.

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