It is common knowledge that tractor-trailers and other large trucks can be dangerous. Their sheer size makes them harder to maneuver, more difficult to avoid and capable of inflicting more damage when they are involved in an accident. Their size also makes them harder to completely inspect and maintain. This means that drivers and mechanics sometimes miss problems that create big hazards for others on the road. One of the biggest dangers from large trucks is that their wheels or tires can come off during travel.
Wheel separations, as they are known in the trucking industry, are particularly dangerous. The first reason is the size of the wheels. Truck wheels are much larger than car wheels, and with a tire attached, they can weigh 300 or 400 lbs. These are very large objects for a car to collide with, especially at highway speeds. The second reason wheels are so dangerous is that they roll and bounce down the road unpredictably. Because the wheels jump, spin and turn, they can be nearly impossible to avoid. Unfortunately, this means they have a propensity to crash through windshields, killing occupants instantly in some cases and causing crashes in others. Even if a truck wheel somehow bounces off of a car without hitting anyone inside, the driver is likely to swerve or slam on the brakes, leading to an accident.
Regardless of the reason for a wheel-off incident, you need an experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer to represent you after an injury or the death of a loved one. Wheel-off accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Poor maintenance. When a truck driver or trucking company doesn’t take care of their trucks, parts can break and even fall off. When this happens to a wheel, the results are often deadly. Bearings and wheel fasteners must be maintained properly.
- Failure to inspect. Interstate truck drivers are responsible for checking the condition of their rig every day. If they fail to do so, or don’t take the inspection seriously, they can miss problems with a big-rig’s wheels or tires.
- Defective products. Sometimes the driver isn’t responsible for a wheel-off accident. Poorly designed parts, including wheels and axels, can lead to a wheel coming off while a vehicle is in operation. Production issues can cause the same problems.
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a truck losing a wheel or a tire, you have rights. The experienced Ridgewood truck accident attorneys at Seigel Law represent victims in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey. Contact us online or call 201.444.4000 today for a free initial consultation.