Drive on America’s highways long enough, and you’re bound to see discarded tires on the side of the road. These scraps are likely what’s left of a past accident. That’s because accidents caused by bursting tires are a surprisingly common truck crash no one is talking about.
What is a Tire Blowout?
Tire blowouts are caused when they’re so much friction and heat on a tire that it bursts (often suddenly and violently). These are usually caused by low tire pressure, especially when driving in high temperatures. However, for large trucks, a blowout can also occur due to overloaded or improperly distributed cargo.
What you may not realize is that these incidents are extremely common. According to a report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about 75,000 tire blowouts in America each year, causing approximately 400 fatalities.
What’s especially frightening about these crashes is that they can happen without warning and they endanger everyone around the truck, even those on the other side of the median.
The Dangers of a Truck Blowout
When a truck loses its tire, two things happen. First, scraps of rubber weighing upwards of 50lbs tumble into traffic at full speed. If those hit a vehicle or someone’s windshield, the damage could be similar to a head-on collision. Even if a driver is cautious, swerving to avoid incoming tire pieces could cause a chain reaction of crashes, endangering even more people.
The second issue is that truck drivers frequently panic after a tire blowout and may lose control of their vehicle. In some cases, this leads to a truck drifting into cars in neighboring lanes or even completely losing control and going across the median, into oncoming traffic.
Preventing Blowout Crashes
While blowouts are often unpredictable, you can take some proactive steps to stay safe on the road.
- When behind a truck, provide plenty of extra following distance. This way, you’ll have time to react if a blowout occurs.
- Do not linger next to a truck. Complete your pass and merge back into their lane.
- If you see a truck lose control and drift into the wrong lane, slow down as much as you are able, thus reducing the force of impact.
And more importantly, if you are hurt, do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced truck accident attorneys at Dunk Law Firm to discuss your case and find a way forward.
To schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.