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How do truck tire blowouts occur?

When it comes to the nearly 40 ton semi trucks with which we share the roads and highways, we like to imagine that not only are those at the wheels of these mechanical behemoths obeying the traffic laws and practicing safe driving techniques, but that the semi trucks themselves are in good working order and free from potentially dangerous mechanical issues.

The unfortunate reality, of course, is that this is often not the case. Indeed, as far as mechanical issues are concerned, a person needn't look any further than the regular appearance of so-called "road gators" -- truck tire treads -- lining the shoulders of highways for proof of this fact.

As horrific as the notion of your own vehicle having a tire blowout may be, consider just how much more horrific it may be if the semi traveling in the next lane suffers the same fate.

All this naturally begs the question as to why truck tire blowouts occur or, perhaps phrased another way, how trucking companies can fail to prevent tire blowouts.

  • Underinflation: When a tire is lacking the necessary air pressure, the rubber, steel, fabric and other composites inside will start to flex beyond their structural capabilities, causing them to weaken and fail.
  • Overloading: Whether owing to attempts to meet deadlines or save money, when a truck is loaded with so much cargo that its gross vehicular weight rating is surpassed, it will similarly compromise the structural components of the tires.
  • Road debris: When a tire strikes any of the litter commonly found on the roadway, the impact serves to essentially pinch the structural components between the wheel and the obstruction, and, if struck hard enough, result in them fraying or severing.

It's important to understand that if the failure of a trucking company to inspect a tire results in a blowout causing you or a loved one to suffer serious personal injuries that you have rights, and you have options for pursing justice.

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