A tire blowout can be a dangerous, stressful occurrence for any size vehicle. When the blowout occurs on an 18-wheeler, however, it can lead to loss of control and deadly collisions. While truck drivers receive advanced training and extended road practice, they might not have the skill necessary to control their vehicle after a tire blowout.
There are four common factors that can lead to a truck tire blowout:
- Severe weather conditions: While they can occur at any time of the year, tire blowouts are more common during the hot summer months. Texas drivers understand that July and August especially can heat a road surface to unimaginable levels. These overheated conditions combined with a heavy load and long-distance trips can result in tire failure.
- Poor maintenance: The condition of the tires themselves can contribute to a blowout. For example, worn tires that are not repaired when possible or replaced when necessary can fail. Trucks carry heavy loads and travel longer than other vehicles and the wear-and-tear on their tires is significant.
- Improper tire inflation: If a truck tire is underinflated, it won’t be able to handle the weight of the truck and the loaded trailer. Underinflated tires will be flexed past their strength limits and fail.
- Poor road conditions: Trucks on the highway will likely have to deal with potholes, uneven pavement and surface cracks. Additionally, debris on the road can shred a tire leading to a blowout and dangerous collision.
Truck drivers, while professional, are not infallible. Poor vehicle maintenance can lead to devastating accidents that could ultimately result in catastrophic injuries or death.
In addition to the vehicle losing control, drivers of smaller vehicles will need to avoid the huge chunks of rubber flying around the road as the tire shreds off the 18-wheeler at high speeds. These heavy chunks can strike a vehicle or become hazards along the surface of the road.