Flying Truck Wheels – How to stay safe and steer clear of liability issues
The idea of flying truck wheels impacting a driver’s car is very unsettling. Responsible truck drivers are diligent with truck care, including ensuring their tires are secure. A tire or any part of the tire system that comes loose can cause serious injury or even death.
Not only are other drivers at risk, but also pedestrians and construction workers doing repair work. Without proper maintenance and inspections, you could not only cause accidents but also become a criminal. Here we explain the types of charges involved in flying truck wheel accidents as well as how you can prevent them.
How Do Flying Truck Wheel Accidents Occur?
Some of the most common reasons tire wheels or parts come off during transportation include:
- Old and worn parts, often axels
- Hub separations
- Wheel bearing failure
- Defects in the tire
- Improper installation
Once the accident occurs, an investigation takes place to determine the cause.
What Happens During a Flying Truck Wheel Investigation?
During the investigation, the parts will be retrieved from the scene. Incident reports will be taken from witnesses and survivors of the accident as soon as possible. If lawyers are involved as they often are, they will demand the trucking company take the truck out of operation and preserve it in its current condition so it can also be inspected. A forensic investigation often includes reconstructing the accident for further analysis. As well, maintenance and repair records for the truck will be requested.
What is the Purpose of the Investigation?
The investigation determines the reasons the accident occurred to establish if it could have been prevented. When a vehicle is well-maintained, the investigation reveals all parts were in good working order, and the maintenance records are up to date, then chances are the driver won’t be found negligent.
However, something as seemingly harmless as rusted parts can lead to charges and costly lawsuits against the driver. Should maintenance records show the trucking company or owner/operator was informed of required repairs and those repairs were not made, or proper inspection of the vehicle did not take place prior to the trip, negligence charges are more likely and provide a basis for liability for lawsuits.
What are the Possible Consequences if the Driver is Found Negligent?
You could face criminal penalties based on the state criminal or traffic codes. Although safety violations often end up as a misdemeanor in tire violations, it is possible for the prosecution to file felony charges under the criminal code depending on the level of negligence and outcome. Fines, as well as confinement, can result. Lawsuits can also be filed for millions of dollars in damages depending on the level of injuries, or should the accident cause death.
Your Safe Tire Checklist
To prevent runaway truck wheels, ongoing maintenance and recommended repairs should always be performed. Your safe tire checklist includes:
- Brake Components
- Spring Caging Bolts
- Disc Brakes Reservoirs and Valves
- Wheel Bearings
- Proportioning Valve Brake
- Camshafts & Travel Tire Iron
- Chock Block
- Brake Drum Condition
- Brake Lines & Hoses Tire Pressure
- Vacuum System
- Reserve Pump Operator
- Tire Wear
- Spare Tire
- Road Clearance
- Brake Lining Thickness
- Brake Failure Indicator Park Brake
- Emergency Brake
- Brake Operation
- Jack Chains
Proper maintenance and inspections keep you and other drivers safe on the road.
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