Blown Tire Results In Fiery Accident
An 18-wheeler caught fire on I-20 stalling traffic for some amount of time. The crash occurred at 3:30 a.m. Florida highway patrol said that a blown tire caused the 18-wheeler to crash into a concrete barrier on a bridge. This resulted in a gas tank leak and caused the vehicle to catch fire. Nonetheless, no one—not even the driver—was injured in the accident. By 8:30 a.m. the wreckage had been cleared and the normal flow of traffic was restored.
What if Another Vehicle Was Involved in the Crash?
Luckily, this crash resulted in no injuries to anyone, but it very easily could have been much worse. When a large vehicle like an 18-wheeler loses one of its tires, the truck begins pulling to that side. The tendency of the driver is to attempt to over-compensate by steering the vehicle in the opposite direction. This can often result in the vehicle capsizing.
It does happen sometimes that a tractor-trailer loses a tire and then begins pulling in either direction. If there is a car in the next lane over, several very bad things can happen.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
Lack of Underride Guards Cause a Smaller Vehicle to Become Wedged Beneath the Tractor-Trailer
If you’ve ever noticed, the back of big rigs have bars that hang down from the trailer to prevent a smaller vehicle from becoming wedged underneath it. These are called underride guards. Every truck that has over a certain amount of clearance from the ground is required to have an underride guard in the back of the vehicle. However, federal laws, in no small part due to the lobbying of the trucking industry, do not require underride guards on the side of the vehicle. These are some of the worst accidents you’ll see.
When a smaller car becomes wedged underneath a tractor-trailer, the cabin of the vehicle is generally crushed alongside everyone inside the car. While some tractor-trailers do have underride guards on the side of the vehicle, these are generally not strong enough to prevent a vehicle from becoming wedged beneath and are designed more for pedestrians.
Nonetheless, the technology to prevent these tragic deaths is at the hands of every trucking company that delivers goods on U.S. roads. They simply choose not to install them because it would cost them money to fit each of their trucks with underride guards.
So when someone loses their life after their vehicle is crushed underneath a tractor-trailer popped a tire and lacks an underride guard, somewhere, there is a CEO who said settling wrongful death lawsuits with families is cheaper than installing a life-saving piece of technology that could prevent needless death.
Talk to a Florida Defective Auto Parts Attorney
If a defective auto part either contributed to or caused your injury, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.