When a semi-truck experiences a tire blowout, the next few moments can cause massive harm and even loss of life. The truck may skid out of control and slam into one or multiple vehicles. Chunks of debris from the tires could fly off and hit nearby vehicles. There are reasons why big trucks experience tire blowouts, and when truck companies do not heed the potential risks of a tire failing, a major accident could result.
According to Fleet Owner, the problems of tire blowouts often result from underinflated tires. Checking the tires of large trucks may be a cumbersome task, but if truck owners fail to check their trucks regularly, tire inflation may drop below 10% of proper inflation levels, which can cause the tire to lose 10% of its tread wear and cause it to wear out quicker. Tires that drop below 20% inflation may lose as much as 30% of their tire life.
Lower tire inflation means the pressure on the tire increases, and the internal temperature of the tire heats up. Big trucks compound this problem because many of them have a pair of tires on the same axle. If one of those tires has lower inflation than the other, the deflated tire will drag because of the imbalance. This increases the chance that the deflated tire will fail.
Underinflated tires do not react well to hot weather. Rising heat increases chemical reactions, which causes a tire to age more rapidly. Heat also can cause the casing and the tread of a tire to separate, eventually resulting in a possible tire blowout. Tires may even suffer damage if they are stored in a place exposed to the sun or another hot location.
Since tire blowouts largely result from a lack of proper inflation, trucking companies have the obligation to properly maintain the tires on their vehicles. A failure to do so can cause a significant and consequential truck accident that the company may have liability for.