Trucker Safety: Truck Accident Due to Bad or Underinflated Tires
It is recommended that truck drivers should check tire pressure prior to and during every road trip, and monthly and regular maintenance for the prevention of uneven tire wear and tire failure.
Tire Related Studies
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put out a new study that determined that underinflated tires of 25% or less are 3x likely to be involved in a crash related to tire issues versus vehicles with properly inflated tires. 25% underinflated tires are at risk of overheating and prone to failure, which also cause poor handling and short tread life.
Crash data for this study was between 2005 and 2007, which is before tire-pressure monitoring systems were required to be installed on all vehicles. Law required that all 2008 vehicles alert drivers of underinflated tires of 25% or more of the recommended inflation level of the vehicle. Monitoring systems are designed to alert drivers of tires that are losing air pressure, but are not to be used as a replacement for checking tires every month.
This study also determined that 5% of all vehicles had tire problems immediately before an accident. Accidents can be tied to other factors as well, such as bad weather, inexperienced driver, etc.
A study in 2009 found that 57% of vehicles with tire-pressure monitoring systems had tires unproperly inflated tires.
Monitor Tire Wear and Tire Pressure
Tread depth should also be monitored, in addition to tire pressure. This study showed that tire-related accidents are likely as tire tread deteriorates; only 2.5% of accidents occurred when tires were newer versus 26% percent when the tires were worn..
Thumping tires and using a tire pressure gauge to regularly check tire pressure are good ways to avoid these tire issues, increase tire life, and lower the risk of a related crash.
Equip truck drivers and operators with the proper tools needed to help them avoid injury
Check your semi-trailer trucks and flat bed truck tires often, and get new tires if necessary.
A tire gauge or the OPNBar tool, for instance can help avoid some injuries by providing an ergonomic means of opening shipping containers, checking for low pressure tires, and aiding operators in releasing the tractor from the trailer.