Tire blowouts occur without warning and cause many trucking accidents. They happen without warning only in the sense that the commercial or owner operator truck driver gets no physical warning while on the road. However, there are conditions that indicate a blowout could be in your future if nothing is done about them.
Your Tires Are under Inflated
One of the surest ways of causing a blowout is driving on chronically under inflated tires. In fact, severe damage is already done after driving a single day on severely under inflated tires. The tire undergoes extreme flexing, which heats and weakens the rubber. This also causes the rubber to separate from the tire’s reinforcing belting. In addition, heavy loads and long distances serve to hasten the process. Note that recommended air pressures are meant for cool tires.
Your Tires Are Old and Worn
Although truck tires last far longer than those of cars, they still require replacement at the end of their service lives. Give your tires a good look-over on your pre-trip inspections and keep a record of their mileage. Check for cracks, holes, bubbles, uneven wear, embedded nails and other objects.
Road Debris and Poor Road Conditions
Striking two-by-fours or other large road debris at a high speed can instantly blowout a tire. Sometimes the strike causes enough damage to induce a delayed blowout occurring hundreds of miles later. Deep potholes and other extreme pavement irregularities will also cause blowouts when struck at sufficient speed. Check your tire for damage after these occurrences.
As mentioned previously, heat and flexing rubber weakens tires. When the heat is extreme, such as when pavement temperatures reach 150 degrees or more, even properly inflated tires are stressed. This is why so many blowouts occur in the summer. While you can’t control the weather, you can lessen the effects of the heat by driving on a good set of tires that are properly inflated and well maintained.