The Hidden Danger on Highways: The Peril of Detached 18-Wheeler Tires

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Auto Accident, Firm News, Personal Injury

In the vast expanse of the highways that crisscross our nation, 18-wheelers and large commercial trucks are a common sight, carrying goods and commodities that fuel our everyday lives. However, lurking within these routine journeys are potential dangers that could have catastrophic consequences for unsuspecting motorists. One such hazard is the phenomenon of tires detaching from these moving leviathans, creating perilous situations for other drivers on the road.

The Catastrophic Impact of Runaway Tires

When a tire comes off an 18-wheeler, it doesn’t simply come to a rest by the roadside. These tires, often weighing several hundred pounds and traveling at high speeds, can become unguided missiles, capable of causing immense destruction. The impact of a tire striking a vehicle can be devastating, leading to serious injuries or even fatalities. The size and weight of these tires, combined with the velocity at which they travel, mean they can crush car roofs, shatter windshields, and cause vehicles to lose control, leading to multi-car pileups and severe accidents.

Understanding the Causes

The detachment of tires from commercial trucks is not an everyday occurrence, but when it does happen, it’s often the result of several factors, including improper maintenance, wear and tear, manufacturing defects, and incorrect installation. A common cause is the failure to properly inspect and maintain the tire and wheel components of these large vehicles. Over time, bolts can loosen, and tire pressure can decrease, leading to increased wear and potential detachment.

The Path to Prevention

Preventing such accidents requires diligence and adherence to maintenance and inspection protocols. Here are some key prevention methods that can significantly reduce the risk of tire detachment:

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Routine checks are crucial for identifying wear and tear on tires and wheel components before they become hazardous. This includes checking for proper tire inflation, ensuring bolts are tightened to the correct specifications, and replacing tires and parts that show signs of excessive wear.

Use of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Installing tire pressure monitoring systems on 18-wheelers can provide real-time data on the condition of tires, alerting drivers to potential issues before they escalate into serious problems.

Training for Drivers and Maintenance Crews

Educating truck drivers and maintenance personnel about the importance of tire safety and the potential consequences of negligence can foster a culture of safety. This includes training on how to conduct thorough inspections and recognize signs of wear and potential failure.

Enforcement of Safety Regulations

Regulatory bodies play a vital role in ensuring that transportation companies adhere to safety standards. This includes enforcing regulations related to tire maintenance and inspections and holding companies accountable for non-compliance.


The detachment of 18-wheeler tires poses a significant threat to highway safety, with the potential to cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities. However, through rigorous maintenance, regular inspections, and adherence to safety protocols, the risk of such incidents can be greatly reduced. It is incumbent upon trucking companies, drivers, and regulatory agencies to work together to ensure the safety of all road users, highlighting the collective responsibility we share in safeguarding our highways from preventable dangers.

Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, New Mexico and New York.  We have handled numerous cases involving 18-wheeler accidents in both federal and state court across the country.  Our attorneys have extensive experience and the skills needed to aggressively represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in a trucking or commercial vehicle accident.  The experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm have previously been involved in similar cases and can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was involved in a trucking accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.