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One of the most common types of road debris are blown out pieces of tires, especially 18-wheeler tires. This debris creates serious roadway hazards that impair driver safety. Meanwhile, the action of the tire blowing out can lead to catastrophic accidents and injuries as well.
Tire failures caused by manufacturer defects and detached truck wheels stemming from improper maintenance or repair can cause huge highway accidents, leading to multiple vehicle crashes and many injured victims. In these ways, an 18-wheeler's tires can be the root cause of significant damage from the negligent actions of truck companies and their mechanics, manufacturers, and drivers.
What Makes 18-Wheeler Tires Different?
What is about an 18-wheeler’s tires that differ so significantly from those of a regular passenger vehicle and why are they more dangerous?
One of the simplest and most obvious ways that an 18-wheeler’s tires differ from those of a passenger vehicle is that there are significantly more of them – 14 more in the case of a true 18-wheeler! This increased quantity of tires, in turn, elevates the risk that one of them will blow out.
One of the most significant ways that an individual 18-wheeler tire differs from the tire of a passenger vehicle is that the 18-wheeler tire is much larger. The actual size varies from truck to truck depending on the needs, size, and requirements of that truck, but big rig truck tires are always much larger and heavier than a standard passenger vehicle’s tires. This increased size and weight increases the damage that these tires can do if they hit another vehicle or if another vehicle drives over them.
The 18-wheeler tires themselves are also made to be thicker and stronger. While this is obviously important for safety, once again this increases the potential damage done by blown tires.
Another significant risk in the 18-wheeler industry comes from a method of re-manufactured tires known as “retreads.” A retread tire is one that utilizes primarily used tire material with only a small portion of the tire consisting of brand new material. Retread tires are popular in the trucking industry because they are less expensive than conventional tires. The old tire is literally given a new tread or “retread.” The danger is that when exposed to heat and stress these tires may break apart and be even more likely to blow out than conventional tires.
Some 18-wheelers also use tires which boast a new technology known as “regenerating tires.” These tires are designed to last longer, enabling the trucking companies to go longer between tire changes. In order to do this, as the tire begins to wear down and the treads are depleted, a new, previously hidden layer of tire and tread is exposed. Thus the tire isn’t actually able to regenerate itself, instead it’s almost more like a second, smaller tire underneath the first that is gradually exposed and used.
An 18-wheeler’s tires are also under significantly higher demands than a typical passenger vehicle’s tires. There is the obvious instance of the 18-wheeler tires needing to bear much heavier weight. However, another important demand is that they must routinely endure long driving times and long distances in a variety of extreme weather conditions. The tires may be exposed to very hot, arid conditions, wet slippery conditions, or extreme cold.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
There is no doubt about the fact that 18-wheeler tires are generally stronger than passenger vehicle tires, and rightfully so. However, it is also difficult to underestimate the damage and danger that can be done by these tires when there is a defect, blowout, failure, detachment, or similar failure. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident involving tire failure it is imperative that you protect your legal rights and receive the care and legal representation that you deserve.
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