Sometimes devastating truck accidents happen because of a problem with the truck tires. Since trucks travel great distances, there are plenty of chances to develop defects and damage that can cause a truck at a crucial moment to veer out of control and strike one or more vehicles.
As The Roanoke Times explains, tires should not be in continual use for more than six years. There are some other signs that truck companies should change the tires on their vehicles sooner than that.
A trucker encounters difficult terrain
As any driver can attest, not all roads are free of cracks or valleys. Any vehicle can sustain damage to a tire just by driving over a pothole. A damaged tire may show off a bulge or a bubble which could indicate the imminence of a blow out. Work zones are another place to be careful of due to screws, nails or glass. These pieces of debris can lodge into a tire and leak out air.
The breaking distance stretches out
As you drive, you want a nearby trucker to put on the brakes if needed. But if the truck tires are losing their traction, it will probably take more distance for the truck driver to slow the vehicle down or to stop it. This could make the difference between a safe stop and a sudden impact. Rain or snow may also cause worn tires to take more time to slow down.
A way to tell if tires are losing their traction is to measure the depth of the tire tread. Drivers can place a quarter in the tire tread with the head of George Washington pointing down. The tire depth is good if it hides the top of Washington’s head, but if the head lies even with the tread, the tire may need replacement soon.
A trucker hears noise or vibrations
Tires that wear down their treads sometimes generate symptoms like noise while driving. If one tire incurs greater wear in some areas, it may send a vibration that the driver feels in the steering wheel. Worn tires may also pull the truck slightly to the left or right, which can be a big problem for keeping the truck straight or completing turns.