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Looking at the role of tire problems in truck accident litigation, P.1

Truck accidents can occur for all manner of reasons, including fatigued driving, misjudging other driver’s movements, speeding or violating other traffic rules, talking on a cell phone and engaging in other activities which distract attention from driving. Another common cause of truck accidents is tire flats and blowouts.

Earlier this week, a truck accident occurred in Bolton when a front tire on the vehicle blew out, causing the driver to veer off the road and roll down an embankment. Fortunately, the driver suffered survived with no life threatening injuries. Reports say that no tickets have been issued over the incident, and it seems that nobody else was injured. Sources provided no indication of why the tire blowout occurred. In some cases of tire blowouts or flats, determining what exactly caused the failure isn’t an easy matter. 

According to a 2003 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tire blowouts or flat tires caused over 400 fatalities that year, as well as over 10,000 injuries and over 78,000 crashes. Those numbers were taken before tire pressure monitor systems were required for commercial motor vehicles, though, so hopefully things have improved. That same report found, though, that certain factors can increase the likelihood of tire problems occurring, such as inadequate tire depth, under-inflation and poor weather conditions.

Another interesting finding of the report is that the percentage of vehicles which experience tire-related problems is significantly increased among vehicles involved in rollover accidents for all body types, though the report didn’t indicate whether this is also the case with commercial vehicles.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic and how tire problems can come into play in personal injury litigation.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Tire-Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase,” April 2012. 

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