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What Are Tire Requirements for Commercial Trucks?

Motorists—including professional truck drivers—often overlook the necessity of well-maintained tires. While our tires are reliable most of the time, they can slowly wear down and become dangerous. Sometimes, a tire issue can be a surprise. However, too often, tire maintenance is overlooked in favor of saving a few dollars.

For this reason, authorities enact heavy regulations concerning truck tire conditions. Tire regulations protect the public by making sure drivers and truck companies are accountable for maintaining vehicles. They also protect drivers who might not have a say with when or how often the tires on a truck are replaced.

In this blog, we'll take a look at commercial truck tire regulations and how they prevent truck accidents.

What Are Tire Tread Requirements for Trucks?

Regulatory bodies agree that commercial truck tires need frequent checks to ensure they do not fail from overuse. One of the easiest ways to tell if a truck tire needs to be replaced is by visually inspecting the tread on it.

These are the commercial truck tire tread regulations in existence today:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Tread depth of 4/32 of an inch for every major groove
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance: Over 2/32 of an inch in two adjacent grooves

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) holds truckers to a high standard of upkeep. If truckers’ tires are found to be out of compliance with the FMCSA standard, they will incur a citation but can continue on their way. While a citation is serious, the FMCSA standard does not automatically force the truck off the road; the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) rules handle this job.

When a truck is found to be out of compliance with the CVSA standard, the truck driver receives a citation, and the truck must be placed out of service until the problem is fixed. This means the truck will sit wherever it is (assuming it is in a safe area and out of the way of traffic) until the truck company replaces the tire. In short, an FMCSA citation is a warning; a CVSA citation is an emergency.

How Many Trucks Have Bad Tires?

Every year, CVSA has an international roadcheck. The most recent one was conducted in 2021 from May 4-6. This annual high-volume, high-visibility inspection and enforcement initiative is meant to identify some of the most prevalent issues with trucks currently on the road, including unsafe tires.

In 2021, inspectors removed 6,710 commercial vehicles from the road—16.5% of all inspected vehicles. Tire issues were the second most common issue, accounting for 1,804 (18.6%) of all violations identified during the initiative.

Dangers of a Truck Tire Blowout

Blowouts—or the sudden loss of a tire's air pressure—are among the most dangerous events for truck drivers. Though blowouts can be caused by road hazards, they’re often a result of tire safety violations.

Common causes of truck tire blowouts include:

  • An overloaded vehicle
  • Road hazards
  • Worn tires
  • Improper tire pressure
  • Improperly installed tires
  • Driver error

In some instances, a tire blowout is something that only requires a driver to pull over and request assistance. However, every tire blowout is accompanied by the possibility of an accident. Blown-out tires can cause trucks drivers to lose control of their vehicles and might send debris flying into other cars.

Protecting Yourself When Hurt in a Truck Tire Blowout Accident

While not every truck tire blowout ends in an accident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that tire blowouts do cause over 12,000 truck accidents each year. Tire blowouts not only endanger the trucker but are also a hazard to other drivers on the road.

Sometimes, tire blowouts can cause a truck rollover, which can result in multi-vehicle accidents. If you are injured due to a truck tire blowout, you have options to recover. When you contact Arnold & Itkin, you can get a free case evaluation for your incident. We can assess your situation and answer any questions you may have concerning your accident.

Call (888) 493-1629 now to speak with a truck accident lawyer from Arnold & Itkin LLP at no cost. We’ve recovered billions for clients and only collect payment if we get results.

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