Who is Liable for Truck Tire Debris?
As you drive down any highway in Las Vegas, you may notice that the road is littered with debris. Roadkill, garbage, and tree branches can all be hazardous for motorists on their daily commute. Drivers are usually able to dodge these small objects and escape without any major damage, but truck tire debris is a different story as it can cause serious damage to a vehicle and injure passengers.
Motorists share the roadways with tractor-trailers every day without thinking of the dangers that they pose to those around them. These large vehicles have a tremendous amount of force behind them during an impact that can cause major damage to a vehicle and those inside. If a semi-truck experiences a tire blowout, the truck can lose control and crash into other vehicles nearby. Sometimes, just the debris from the tires can cause a personal injury, damage to the vehicle, or even death.
Causes of Truck Tire Blowouts
Tractor-trailers that experience a blowout while driving can cause serious damage to those around them. At high speeds, the debris from the tire can damage a vehicle and seriously hurt those inside. Many tire blowouts can be prevented though and are a result of poor maintenance.
Possible causes of semi-truck tire blowout include:
-Puncture in the tire
-Using refurbished tires
How to Report Tire Debris & Who Cleans It Up?
If you see tire debris on roadways, call your local police station to report the debris before it becomes a hazard to others. Make note of the mile marker that you spotted the debris and the roadway that it was found on. The State Department of Transportation usually handles debris removal, but they do not always spot the debris themselves. They heavily rely on citizens to report any debris found.
Tire debris can constantly be spotted up and down major roads, because blowouts happen every day. Some tire blowouts are unpreventable, but many are caused by neglect and poor maintenance. Tire maintenance is very important for the safety of truckers and everyone else on roadways. Many people are responsible for the maintenance of tires on a semi-truck to ensure the truck is safe as possible before hitting the road.
Who is Responsible for Truck Tire Maintenance?
Tire maintenance of tractor-trailers should be looked at by either drivers, trucking companies, or maintenance companies. Depending on the situation, one of them is responsible for inspecting tires and replacing them when needed.
-Drivers. They are the ones operating the truck, and they are ultimately responsible for looking out for others on roadways. Truck drivers are responsible for daily inspections of tires to help decide when they are in need of being replaced. They see the tires each day and should make a decision to have them replaced if they think the tire will be a safety issue on the road. Drivers that fail to inspect their truck and properly maintain the tires may be liable for any damages or injuries that occur from tire debris.
-Trucking Companies. The companies are legally obligated to meet all safety standards and properly maintain the tires on a semi-truck. Trucking companies should keep all documentation of any work that is performed on a semi-truck. Companies may be liable for any damages and injuries if they do not properly inspect and maintain the tires on the truck.
-Maintenance Companies. There are times when other companies are contracted by trucking companies to oversee the entire maintenance of the truck. These companies have a duty to properly maintain the tires and other features of a semi-truck. When they do a poor job of fulfilling their duties, they put trucks on the road that can potentially be harmful to others on the roadway. If these companies are contracted to perform maintenance and fail to do so, they may be liable for any damages and injuries.
Truck tires make up the largest percentage of debris found on roadways, and they can be hazardous for those who have to drive those roads. The person or vehicle that causes road debris is responsible for the damages caused by the negligence, but it can sometimes be tough to prove which truck is responsible for the tire debris that caused you damage or injury.
What To Do If You Are Impacted By Truck Tire Debris
If you have encountered truck tire debris while driving down the road, pull over and first check to see if all occupants of the vehicle are uninjured. If you or a passenger of the vehicle have injuries, take immediate action to find the right emergency medical assistance.
If everyone in the vehicle is uninjured, begin to assess the damage to the vehicle. Cracked windshields, dents in the vehicle, grill damage, a flat tire, or something dragging under the car are all some good damages to look for. You don’t want debris from your car to come off and hit another car, and that is why it is important to thoroughly check your vehicle before driving away. Always tow the vehicle if you think the damage is bad enough to cause a hazard to you or other vehicles down the road.
If the damage is higher than what your insurance deductible is, start by filing a police report. If you have a dash cam, secure the video footage so you can save a copy and look at it later to determine what really happened. A dash cam can provide crucial evidence and give real video footage of the accident and help decide who is at fault for the damage or injuries.
If you have had an accident involving tire debris from a tractor-trailer and suffered a personal injury or damage to your vehicle and are unsure about what can be done for you, call Gina Corena & Associates today to discuss your options. Drivers, trucking companies, and maintenance companies should be held financially and legally responsible for any damages or injuries, and you may be able to receive compensation today!