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. Our Houston truck tire blowout accident attorney is prepared to take on your case and seek compensation for the damages you incurred.
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. If the trucker fails to carry out their inspection properly and causes an accident, our distracted truck driver accident lawyer in Houston can help.
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 crash 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 tire blowout 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.
Contact the Houston truck accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm today at 800-349-0000 today for your free case evaluation.