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Can lost truck tires give us important information?

When a large commercial truck loses a tire on an Illinois road, it is tempting to simply throw the old tire away and not give it a second thought. However, a destroyed tire can actually be important. Instead of disposing of the tire at the first opportunity, it is a better move to study the discarded or damaged tire to help identify the cause of the incident and prevent future problems on the road.

As explains, mechanical trouble will often leave evidence on the tires themselves. For instance, a steer tire with feathered wear indicates that the tire was misaligned in some fashion. To take another example, a steer tire may feature some scalloped wear and cupping. This can indicate non-concentric mounting. It may also show that the tires were mounted out of balance.

Still, while tires may present evidence of a mechanical problem, discarded tires generally only offer symptoms and not the full explanation for why the incident occurred. There are many factors on the truck itself that could have led to the failure of the tire. A full inspection of the truck itself is much more likely to identify the reason the tire was kicked off the vehicle.

Unfortunately, some tires, particularly those that blow out, are lost on the road. Recovering the tire may take considerable effort, particularly if it ends up in the middle of a well traveled highway. In some cases, roadside service may able to return the tire remains to the trucking company. However, in general, if a hazard on the road did not cause a tire to fully fail, it is likely a loss of air in the tire was the culprit.

When a tire is lost, the sudden deprivation of the tire may contribute to a truck colliding with another vehicle. In the event a truck has lost a tire shortly before an accident, recovering the tire may help explain the root cause of the accident and perhaps shine a light on any inadequate maintenance that did not detect the issue with the tire in the first place.

This article is only written to provide general information on the subject of truck accidents. Do not read it for legal counsel on your situation.


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