Tractor trailers are inherently more dangerous than other vehicles on the road for many reasons. Their size, weight, lack of maneuverability, and higher degree of necessary maintenance mean that truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure their vehicles are not dangerous to other drivers, and that truck drivers complete all the necessary training to properly handle these vehicles. Every driver needs to keep track of the quality of their vehicle’s tires, and this is especially true for large trucks.
Worn tires can easily burst with shifting weight or too much stress. Most drivers have seen the remnants of burst truck tires on the side of the highway at some point, and it’s important to realize the dangers that worn tires present to everyone on the road. Georgia truck drivers and other motorists in the Atlanta area and the rest of the state should understand the dangers worn tires present to everyone on the road.
Tires perform several functions that enable safe driving, so it’s imperative for all drivers to keep tabs on the health of their tires to prevent accidents. Tires have special grooves that act as a gripping surface between the tire and the road, supplying traction. These grooves or “treads” of the tires also move small debris and water away from the underside of the wheel so the vehicle can maintain contact with the road.
As a tire’s treads wear down from use, these grooves become shallower, and are far less efficient at displacing water and debris. Shallower treads also don’t grip the road as well, meaning vehicles with worn tires have far less traction than they should. Worn tires on tractor trailers are incredibly dangerous for the truck driver and every other motorist in the area.
A worn tire can burst while the vehicle is in motion. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and get into an accident. Additionally, the debris from the burst tire can detach and fly into other cars nearby, creating a significant hazard with the potential to create a multiple-car accident. Worn tires can also lose their grip on the road surface at higher speeds. If a tractor trailer’s tires cannot grip the road effectively, a sharp turn or sudden brake can quickly turn into an extremely dangerous situation.
Truck drivers and other motorists who find themselves involved in accidents due to worn tires should understand their legal obligations and options for recourse if another party’s negligence caused the accident. An injured victim in a worn tire case may have several options for pursuing compensation. If the trucking company failed to perform adequate maintenance on the truck in question, or did not replace the vehicle’s tires in a timely manner, the trucking company could incur liability for an accident caused by worn tires.
In some cases, a tire may fail to live up to its capabilities as advertised by the manufacturer. Additionally, some tires reach end users with defects from design flaws or production mistakes. If a faulty tire is to blame, the plaintiff can pursue legal action through a product liability claim. Product manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure their products perform safely, effectively, and as advertised. Failing this, the manufacturer could incur liability for damages caused by defective tires.
Whether you need to file a product liability claim against a defective tire manufacturer or a personal injury claim against a trucking company for negligence, the team at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP is here to help. Reach out to our Atlanta team to speak with a representative and we’ll schedule your free initial case evaluation. (800) 242-2962