Tractor-Trailer Wheel Separation Issues Require Thorough Inspections

tractor trailer

State police and truckers button up inspections to alleviate malfunctions

Tractor-trailer drivers and Pennsylvania state police are stressing the importance of truck inspections after separated wheels led to the deaths of two Pennsylvania men. In both cases, wheels came loose from the trucks and careened into opposing traffic, striking their vehicles.

In addition to compliance with trucking companies' rules and regulations, drivers must conduct pre- and post-trip inspections to check the majority of the truck's vitals. This includes tire inflation, the placement of belts and hoses, signal and wiper functions, the condition of lugnuts and bolts, and other important equipment. These kinds of check-ins, according to some truck drivers, take five to 10 minutes to complete.

Still, accidents can happen to even the most careful truckers.

According to Pennsylvania state police, the cause of wheel separation was due to "missing or loose lugnuts; cracked or broken wheels and rims; and worn stud or bolt holes." Officers try to be as vigilant as possible about potential safety problems, and found 400 of these wheel violations in their own rounds of roadside inspections last year.

In 2012, tire-related problems were responsible for 5,891 total truck accidents in Pennsylvania.

Were You Injured in a Truck Accident?

Operating a tractor-trailer requires the skills of a fantastic driver. Still, if something as small as a loose bolt or as large as a driver with unrealistic deadlines for travel is overlooked or ignored, the probability for a devastating accident increases. If you or someone you love was a victim of a truck accident, contact our law firm as soon as possible – preserving the details in these cases is essential.

“Wheel separation incidents can prove deadly; NTSB doesn't track them.” Tribune-Review. Sept. 15, 2014.