After a long day at work, you were dreading getting on SR 168, especially since you had to take the toll road onto the Chesapeake Expressway. Unfortunately, even in mind-numbing rush hour traffic, it’s still the fastest way home, so you grit your teeth and merge on.
Wouldn’t you know? Soon, you’re stuck behind not one but three big-rig trucks, without much option to pass. After about five miles, another driver finally takes pity on you and lets you over. However, your delight is quickly diminished when you see that the second semi is having trouble. He keeps darting from one side of the lane to the next, and his back tire looks awfully wobbly.
You attempt to pass him as quickly as possible, but suddenly his wobbly tire explodes, sending pieces of rubber straight at your windshield. You panic and veer toward the median as the truck loses control and starts to skid across all lanes of traffic. You horrifyingly watch as the truck tips over, barely missing you as you slam on your brakes.
Unfortunately, the driver behind you isn’t as quick as you, and winds up slamming into your car’s back end and pushing you straight into the overturned truck. Right before you lose consciousness from the impact, you hear the truck driver get out and run toward your accordioned vehicle.
What just happened?
How His Blowout Can Cause You Harm
Tire blowouts are unfortunately a common hazard associated with large trucks. On average, semi truck tires have over 75,000 pounds of pressure placed on them at any given time, while being forced to hold up for thousand-mile hauls. As you can imagine, this strain puts a lot of wear and tear on the rubber, making it ripe for structural damage. Although semi tires are designed to be bigger, thicker, and more durable than normal car tires, when the structure is compromised—punctured, torn, or ripped—the pressure within the tires is forcefully released by the truck’s weight, causing an explosive blowout.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that truck tire blowouts are one of the major causes of truck accidents in the United States, causing over 12,000 truck accidents each year. These blowouts not only cause the trucks themselves to become unstable and potentially uncontrollable, but they can cause dangerous collision risks for other drivers as well. These risks include:
- Flying tire treads and tire debris. During a blowout, the tire basically rips itself apart, and the explosive force catapults large pieces of the former tire (which can weigh up to 100 pounds) directly outward toward any unsuspecting cars that may be nearby.
- Trucker losing control. The force of the blowout, along with the instability of the trailer when balancing on uneven tires, may cause the truck driver to swerve, lose control, or even tip over.
- Loosened cargo. When the truck becomes unstable, there is a risk that the trailer may open, releasing its cargo.
- Fellow driver panic. Witnessing a tire blowout can be jarring, especially if the truck loses control. Unfortunately, this can cause other motorists to panic and swerve, brake, or maneuver erratically to avoid the truck, without paying attention to other traffic.
Getting Back on Track After a Truck Blowout Accident
Truckers should always properly maintain their tires and check for possible signs of wear before beginning long hauls. Unfortunately for you, truck drivers aren’t always diligent in carrying out this duty. When worn or structurally deficient tires get overlooked, you and your family are at risk for a truck collision. This is why it is important to know that you have friends who will be able to help you get back on track if you get caught up in a tire blowout accident.
We can help you and your family receive the compensation, treatment, and care you need for your injuries, while providing you with the support and peace of mind you deserve after a traumatic accident. Don’t let a tire blowout destroy your family’s future; contact us today for a consultation, and let us fight for your family.
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Large Truck Accidents in Virginia: How to Steer Clear
Protecting Your Family from a Truck Blowout Disaster