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Balding Tires & Blowouts

INDIANA TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

The Indiana truck accident lawyers at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse LLP have over 75 years of combined legal experience in personal injury law. Founded in 1899, our firm has represented countless victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by negligence. We are proud to fight for the rights of injured parties and surviving family members throughout Indiana.

BALDING TIRES AND BLOWOUTS

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 10 percent of all vehicles operate with one bald tire. Approximately 550 people die each year in accidents caused by a blown tire. Balding occurs when the tire loses fractions of an inch in tread, the grooves that provide traction on the road. A blowout refers to the sudden rupture caused by pressure on a weak spot. Tire balding and blowouts have many causes, including:

  • High speed
  • Excessive heat
  • Roadway hazards
  • Poor maintenance
  • Under-inflated tires
  • Lax safety inspection
  • Exceeding weight limit
  • Potholes, highway debris
  • Braking, alignment issues
  • Manufacturing or product defects

Balding and blown-out tires are especially dangerous in trucks because heavy, flying rubber can hit another vehicle. The leftover casings litter the roadway, forcing other motorists to perform sudden, evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting the obstacle. Debris from truck tire blowouts and falling debris cause traffic collisions. Retreaded tires are often blamed for these accidents. Trucks have a bad reputation for blowouts because most of their tires are retreaded rather than replaced, saving truckers and trucking companies over $3 billion annually.

BALDING AND BLOWOUT NEGLIGENCE

Truckers and trucking companies have a clear incentive to use retreaded tires. They also have a duty to constantly inspect and maintain those tires so they do not injure others. The Department of Transportation analyzed recovered tire casings and found that maintenance and operational issues accounted for 32 percent of tire failures. Negligent causes of these issues may include:

  • Speeding
  • Intoxication
  • Driver fatigue
  • Lack of training
  • Weight violations
  • Talking and texting
  • Mismatched parts or tires
  • Failure to inspect or repair
  • Excessive wear, overheating

When careless drivers and deep-pocket companies operate trucks with balding or under-inflated tires, they are liable for accidents caused by any blowout. This is because state and federal law require fleets to properly educate drivers and develop procedures to prevent unsafe operation. In addition to the negligent driver, the trucking company and its insurers are also liable for injury or death caused in a tire-related crash.

PRODUCT AND PREMISES LIABILITY

Tire defects are the second most common vehicle defect after brakes in truck-related fatalities. When a new or retreaded tire causes has a blowout that leads an accident, the manufacturer is liable. Tire companies that fail to detect or repair a flaw in their product violate a legal duty to the consumer. Manufacturers, distributors, and vendors may all be liable for failure to warn consumers of associated risks. Municipalities, contractors, and property owners are likewise responsible for the road hazards, including tire debris, that account for nearly 40 percent of tire-related accidents. They have a legal duty to remove, repair, or clean up clearly dangerous conditions on the premises, especially large tire casings that cause accidents on the road.

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