Large commercial trucks crisscross the San Joaquin Valley all day. With major thoroughfares such as Interstate-5 and California State Route 99 passing directly through the city, Stockton sees more than its fair share of tractor-trailers. All trucking companies that operate in and around Stockton must ensure that they are taking the appropriate safety measures.
As a truck’s tires are the only part of the vehicle that actually makes contact with the road, it is crucial that they are in proper working condition. Tire blowouts are a contributing factor to a significant number of avoidable tractor-trailer collisions. Here, our Stockton truck accident attorney highlights the key things to know about tire blowouts and personal injury claims in California.
How Common are Tractor Trailer Tire Blowouts?
Commercial truck tire blowouts happen more frequently than many people realize. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted an in-depth review and assessment of more than 100,000 tractor-trailer accidents over a multi-year period. In its analysis, the FMCSA determined that tire blowouts and other tire problems contributed to more than six percent of all crashes. In other words, approximately one (1) in every fifteen (15) trucking accidents is caused by a tire-related issue.
Truck Tire Blowouts Can Occur for Many Different Reasons
Truck tire blowouts should not happen nearly as often as they do. In the vast majority of cases, a tire problem could and should have been prevented if only proper care was taken by all parties involved in the trucking operation. Some of the most common reasons why truck tire blowouts and other similar problems occur is as follows:
- Trucker Error: A truck driver may be the party responsible for a tire blowout and/or tire damage. For example, imagine that a truck driver in the Stockton area strikes a curb. That damage could lead to tire failure. A trucking company can be held legally responsible for an accident caused by the negligence of one of its drivers.
- Installation Issues: An improperly installed truck tire is at a far higher risk of blowing out. All parties responsible for the truck’s tire have a legal and professional responsibility to ensure that they are installed in the proper manner. Large trucks should always be inspected pre-trip and post-trip to ensure that the tires are in good working order.
- Old TIres: A truck’s tires should be rotated and changed on a regular basis as appropriate given the specific manufacturer recommendations. Tires do not last forever—and large commercial trucks tend to go through tires more quickly than other vehicles. Old tires can cause serious accidents.
- Trailer Loading Problems: A commercial truck that is overloaded or improperly balanced may put additional stress on some or all of the vehicle’s tires. An overloaded truck can increase the risk of a catastrophic tire blowout.