Every driver who has blown a tire on the road knows the drill; a loud noise and sudden loss of control make a blowout a terrifying experience. The wheel suddenly becomes an enemy. Wrestling for control, your vehicle does not respond the way you anticipate, and just getting to the side of the road can be difficult.
Passenger vehicle tires range from about 20 to 30 inches on average. Big rig tires, on the other hand, can come in at almost four feet high. Larger tires represent significantly more mass, and more mass in a high-speed blowout can have devastating consequences for other drivers on the road.
The blowouts are dangerous because of both speed and force. A blowout represents a tremendous amount of force, and at highway speeds shredded tires become ballistic shrapnel. An episode of MythBusters tested this scenario and found that shrapnel from a big rig tire blowout had enough force to literally decapitate a human being.
The dangers of retreaded tires
Tire blowouts on big rigs are more common than you care to think. Trucks travel all over the country, and all those miles mean a tremendous amount of wear on tires. Additionally, most truck tires are not purchased new as a cost-saving measure. Instead, companies use “retreads,” tires that use old sidewalls and have new tread fused on. Most retreads are considered as safe as new tires. However, a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found a problem with retreads that is costing lives.
CBS News said, “According to the NHTSA, no truck tire is rated in excess of 81mph and most are rated at 75 mph, but 16 states have trucks speeds equal to or greater than 75 miles per hour; four even go beyond that, to 80mph.” At high speeds, retread tires are more likely to fail. This type of blowout directly caused 223 deaths between 2009 and 2013.
Big rigs are worth paying attention to on the road. Try to not to get stuck on the side of a big rig in traffic, and make sure that you can see the driver in his or her mirrors. Unfortunately, even the most cautious drivers can be the victims of circumstance. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can help get you the compensation you deserve after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation at our Ohio or Kentucky office.