In late 2017, a truck flipped over on Route 55 in Franklin Township, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. The cause of the accident? A tire blowout that led the driver to lose control, with the truck ultimately coming to rest on the right shoulder of the northbound lanes. While fortunately nobody was hurt in the accident, it caused a substantial delay in traffic as authorities worked to clear the scene. Just a few weeks before that incident, a different accident occurred due to a tire malfunction in the Philadelphia area.
In New Castle, Delaware, two people were injured when a rear tire from a tractor-trailer came loose. The tire then bounced down Route 13, hitting three cars that were stopped at a light. Two people who were sitting in one of the cars had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for neck and back pain. Disturbingly, the truck driver informed police that he only realized that he was short a tire when he noticed that something was wrong with his truck; at that point, he pulled over and called the police.
Accidents Involving Truck Tire Issues are Far Too Common
Tire blowouts and other malfunctions with big rigs happen all too often in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania.
As experienced truck accident attorneys, we’ve seen firsthand the damage that can be the result of these types of collisions, including serious injuries and even death.
While the two incidents described above resulted in only minor injuries, given the size of truck tires and the potential for tractor-trailers to flip and crash if they experience tire issues, it’s common for these situations to end badly for all involved.
What Causes a Tire Blowout?
While there are many potential sources of issues with truck tires, many of them can be linked to negligence. In other words, a person failed to act with the care of a reasonable person under the circumstances. For example, in the case of the tire that flew off of the tractor-trailer, it may have been caused by negligence in failing to properly tighten the lug nuts on the tire. The mechanic, who may have been a person hired by the trucking company to perform routine maintenance on the trucks, did not act with the care of a reasonable truck mechanic in tightening the lug nuts on the tractor-trailer before putting the truck back on the road.
Of course, there are other potential causes of malfunctions with truck tires. For situations involving a tire blowout, this may include:
- Improper tire inflation: An overinflated tire can cause an explosion as the internal pressure rises. When a tire is under-inflated, it has too much empty space in it, which may allow heat to build up, which can then cause an explosion as the air inside of the tire expands.
- Poor Road Maintenance: Improperly maintained roads that are filled with potholes (not an unusual site in the Philadelphia area), debris or other hazards can also contribute to a tire blowout. If a truck’s tire strikes a hazard on the road, it can cause it to blow out, particularly if it has not been properly maintained.
- Overly Worn Tires: Tires with worn tread are more likely to blow out if they hit debris. If a trucking company fails to properly maintain their trucking fleets’ tires, it can lead to blowouts.
If a tire blowout or missing tire is the result of negligence, there are several potentially responsible parties. Typically, the trucking company and/or truck driver will considered liable for the accident. However, there may be other factors at play, such as poor road maintenance, or even a faulty batch of rubber in the tires themselves that caused the blowout. Whatever the cause may be, you will need an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer to represent you and help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Hurt in a Truck Accident? Contact Us Today
At Solnick & Associates, we have more than thirty years of combined experience helping our clients recover for their injuries. We work with you to help you recover for your damages, and help you get back on your feet. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today.