Two People Left Dead After Semi Tire Explodes
An accident involving two semi-trucks and passenger car left two dead in Ohio on September 17th, 2019. Investigators determined that the cause of the crash was a tire blowout. The first semi was driving southbound when the left front tire blew out. The truck crossed the median, heading into oncoming traffic. The truck struck two vehicles head-on including another semi and a car. The driver in the car and the second semi driver were killed in the accident.
Whose Fault is This?
Pending the investigation, an early theory on what happened depends on a number of factors. We can surmise that, in cases such as this, there are three potential at-fault parties.
The first potential at-fault party is the trucking company. The trucking company is required to ensure that their vehicles are safe to go out on delivery before the truck leaves. This means performing extensive diagnostics including on the tires. If it can be proven that the trucking company failed to perform this inspection before the truck left for delivery, then the trucking company will be at least partly liable for the deaths of the other truck driver and the driver of the car.
The second potential at-fault party is the tire manufacturer. Assuming that the tire was still under warranty and had been maintained properly, then examining the tire could determine that there was either a manufacturing defect or a design defect that contributed to this crash. In that case, the tire company would be liable for the accident.
A third possibility is that the tire was a retread. Retread tires are notoriously dangerous but have a better track record than most people believe. However, if the process isn’t done properly or professionally, the result can be a catastrophic tread separation that results in a total tire failure. If that’s the case, whoever retread the tire would be liable for the deaths.
Examining the Potential Case
Retreads are a huge part of the trucking industry and a veritable necessity. Trucks are huge, they haul tons of cargo, and travel extensive distances over long periods of time. Tires are also expensive, so retreads help offset the cost of logistics and ensure that the industry is profitable. They also help keep costs down for consumer goods.
While many have signalled the alarm that retreads are dangerous, the vast majority of them are not. In cases where a retread fails, there may have been something in the process of retreading that caused the tire failure. If the tire is a retread, it may be difficult to hold the tire company responsible for the accident.
Another possibility is that the tire was poorly maintained. In cases where the tire is underinflated, overinflated, or showing cracks or bulging in the sidewall, the delivery should be halted before something terrible happens. It falls on the trucking company to ensure that happens.
Talk to a Tire Liability Lawyer Today
The Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert litigate cases against trucking companies, tire service shops, and tire manufacturers when their negligence results in death or injury. Talk to us today for more information.