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Legal Implications of Commercial Tire Failures: A Fleet Administrator’s Guide

Legal implications of commercial tire failures

According to the NHTSA, in 2021, a total of 622 people died on the road in tire-related crashes, leading to serious legal implications of commercial tire failures. Although only a portion of these accidents were caused by commercial trucks, most of them could have been prevented through a strong tire maintenance program. Some like to blame tire retreading for tire blowouts on the road. In reality, retread tires are just as safe as new tires when they are properly maintained. 

Tire blowouts aren’t just an inconvenience for drivers and fleet managers. Tire blowouts are a safety issue on the road. If someone is injured or dies in an accident from a tire issue with your truck, you may have legal liability. 

Understanding Why Tires Blowout and the Legal Implications of Commercial Tire Failures 

Tires blowout on the road for many different reasons, but in our experience, there are some more common reasons that tires fail.  

  • Failure to maintain the vehicle – commercial trucks that aren’t mechanically sound will have tires fail more often. 
  • Excessive weight – too much weight in the trailer can cause tires to wear out prematurely. 
  • Hazardous road conditions – potholes and debris in the road can cause tire failure. 
  • Incorrect tire pressure – under- and over-inflated tires wear out quicker than tires that are properly inflated. Plus, underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency. 

Tires can also blowout when they are mismatched to each other or have defects. In any case, if a tire blowout from your truck causes an accident, your driver and company could be held legally responsible for the damage to other cars and people, leading to potential legal implications of commercial tire failures.

Commercial Trucks – Negligence and Liability 

Dealing with personal injury cases involving commercial vehicles can be intricate, especially when considering the legal implications of commercial tire failures. In such instances, there is often a complexity arising from various entities that may share liability. Your company, as the owner of the commercial vehicle, could be subject to a lawsuit if it is found negligent in maintaining the tires. Additionally, drivers might be held responsible if they neglect pre-trip inspections, failing to identify tire issues before hitting the road. In some cases, manufacturers may also bear liability if a tire defect is determined to be the cause of a blowout and subsequent accident. The process of determining liability can be time-consuming. If your company is deemed responsible, you may be obligated to compensate for lost wages (including future earnings), medical expenses, and the pain and suffering experienced by the injured party. Neglecting tire maintenance can result in a costly situation.

STTC Tire Asset Management Program 

Our tire technicians understand that tires are a big expense for fleets. Regardless of how many trucks are in your fleet, you want to get the lowest cost per mile while staying safe on the road. STTC’s tire asset management program uses several methods to keep your tires running as long as possible without giving up safety and efficiency. We incorporate tire retreading into a tire management program to reduce your costs and lessen the burden on the environment. Our documentation gives you peace of mind that you’ll have proof of your efforts to minimize liability by taking care of the tires on your fleet vehicles. 

Give us a call now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online to make an appointment to tour our tire retreading facility. Learn more to feel assured that retread tires are safe and effective.

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