When you think about a traffic accident, you likely picture two or more vehicles colliding with one another. While a two-car collision is indeed a common type of accident, many people don’t realize that injuries can also result from tires and wheels falling off trucks. These accidents can be just as dangerous as vehicle collisions.
An Unpublicized Danger
While traveling on major highways, you may pass multiple trucks. If you’re like most, you don’t ever give a thought to just how dangerous the tires under them can be. Each steel wheel with a tire can weigh over 100 pounds. It can do a lot of damage just by falling on a person. When you throw in the fact that the wheel may be coming off a truck traveling at a high rate of speed, it makes the wheel potentially deadly.
It’s no surprise that other drivers on the roadway are at risk of being injured by a flying tire. However, they’re not the only ones. Pedestrians, bicyclists, road workers, and even police officers out making stops are at risk. These individuals are more at risk for serious or even deadly injuries when they’re not somewhat protected by a vehicle.
Investigating the Accident to Find the Cause
If you’ve been injured as a result of a flying tire or a loved one has been killed by one, there will need to be an investigation of the accident. The sooner the accident is reported, the sooner a proper investigation can get underway. Delaying an investigation could allow any evidence that exists to be disposed of.
Typically, the truck involved in the accident will be inspected by a mechanical engineer. The point of the investigation will be to determine why the tire came off the rig in the first place. This could be due to a faulty part, lack of maintenance, or improper installation of a part. Determining the fault for the accident is going to be highly dependent on what the cause is identified to be. The most common reasons that a truck wheel may fly off include:
Reconstructing the Accident to Determine Fault
An accident reconstruction specialist will go through all the pertinent information regarding the accident, including any trucking company maintenance records, to determine who is at fault. In most cases, the fault lies with the trucking company or the manufacturer of a faulty part. These cases can be time-consuming and require various resources to be properly investigated.
While not highly publicized, one very dangerous type of roadway accident is caused by a flying truck wheel. When over 100 pounds of steel and rubber take flight, it can create serious injuries and even death. Having a proper investigation performed can identify the reason that the wheel came off and determine who is at fault for the accident.