Driving on I-95 – or really any major highway – you might have come across large pieces of rubber resting along the side of the road. In some cases, you may have come across them laying in the middle of the road, and you may have even needed to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting one.
People often wonder what these chunks of rubber are and why there are so many of them.
Typically, these shredded chunks of rubber are truck tires that have begun shedding layers of rubber. Often, trucks can keep driving after shedding a layer of rubber, but these shredded truck tires can be a huge danger to other drivers who could be hit by flying debris or forced to swerve to avoid these dangerous truck tires.
If you were involved in a car accident because of shredded truck tires in the way – or because a truck’s tire hit you – you could be entitled to sue the truck driver and the trucking company. Call the Maryland truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for help with your case. Our number is (410) 694-7291.
Reasons for Shredded Semi Truck Tires Along the Road
The tires used on modern cars and tractor-trailers are more than just rubber filled with air. Most tires are actually made of layers of rubber and metal mesh that allow the tires to stand up to immense wear and tear without falling, popping, or breaking.
That means that tires will often last a long time, but they do get worn down after repeat use – and replacing them is often expensive.
Trucking companies, who put thousands of miles on vehicles each day, look for workarounds to avoid having to buy new tires all the time, potentially endangering other drivers.
Most tires that shred are not new tires being used until they fall apart. In fact, tires that lose their tread are often dangerous well before the point that they would fail and fall apart.
Instead, shredded tires are often older tires that have been retreaded. Rather than paying for new tires, trucking companies will often add additional layers to old tires so that the tread surface is fresh.
If these tires are retreaded properly, they might be quite safe. However, improper retreading and negligent equipment checks can lead to tires shredding and falling apart on the road.
If a tractor-trailer’s retreaded tire is underinflated, it will flatten against the road more and cause additional heat build-up in the tire. This can cause the glue and other material holding the tread on to essentially melt away, leaving the tread with nothing to keep it attached. If the rubber snags or tears, the entire tread will often come loose and fall off.
Can You Sue a Trucking Company if You were Hit by a Shredded Tire?
If you were involved in an accident caused by a shredded truck tire, you could be entitled to sue the driver whose tire fell apart and the trucking company that put a truck with unsafe tires on the road in the first place.
However, the circumstances surrounding the accident might make it harder to sue – and the actual cause of the crash could change whether you sue the driver or the trucking company.
Crashes Caused by a Truck You Can See
If your crash was caused because a tire or chunk of shredded tire that fell off a truck right in front of you and hit your car, that accident is certainly the truck’s fault. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow strict requirements when using retreaded tires.
For instance, they are typically not allowed to use retreaded tires on the front wheels (the ones that steer), and both the trucking company and the trucker should check tire pressure to make sure their tires are not underinflated.
If you saw the tire come off the truck and it caused the crash, you can typically hold the trucking company and the driver responsible.
In some cases, the truck driver might be just as surprised at the tire failure as you are. If they were also a victim of the trucking company’s negligence in retreading a tire or negligently equipping the semi-truck, you could both be entitled to sue the trucking company.
Crashes Caused by Abandoned Tire Shreds
The kinds of truck tire accidents that are hardest to pursue are the ones where the truck’s tires are left in the middle of the road. By the time you get to the tire, you might not be able to tell which truck it came from, and you might not know whom to sue for your injuries.
Our Maryland truck accident lawyers can try to track down the right truck, but usually, these cases need to be filed through your insurance to get you the damages you need.
Sometimes these crashes are caused by another truck or car that hit a shredded tire and then lost control. If that driver was negligent and should not have lost control, then they could be on the hook for causing the crash.
If their actions were reasonable and they were just as much a victim as you were, then you could potentially be entitled to payments from their insurance company and your own insurance company if the at-fault trucker who left the tire on the road cannot be located.
Call Our Maryland Trucking Accident Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you were in a car accident caused by a shredded truck tire falling off a tractor-trailer, call the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today for a free legal consultation. Our office number is (410) 694-7291.