From Guest Contributor: Christopher Dewall – Transportation Safety Specialist
According to the National Transportation Safety Board data suggests that at least 33,000 crashes each year in the U.S. are attributable to tire issues in general. That federal agency specifically classifies 2,000 of those 33,000 as involving tire blowouts.
80% of all tire blowouts are caused by deterioration of the tread and/or casing related to the heat caused by sidewall flexing of the underinflated tire.
The DOT has established many safety regulations for tires used on commercial vehicles. The FMCSA with help from Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is in charge of enforcing those tire safety regulations.
Most importantly, your truck will be placed out of service and you can’t drive the CMV until the condition is fixed, if you have a tire that:
- Has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall
- Has any tread or sidewall separation
- Is flat or has an audible leak, or
- Has a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed
393.75(a)(3) Flat Tire or Audible Leak violation is one of the most common vehicle related violations given every year. In the last 5 years, over 456,000 of these violations have been issued.
DOT Steer Tire Regulations
DOT steer tire regulations are a set of rules and guidelines that commercial vehicles must follow when it comes to their steer tires. According to the DOT (49 CFR 393.75b), “any tire on the front wheels of a truck, or truck tractor shall have a tread groove pattern depth of at least 4⁄32 of an inch when measured at any point on a major tread groove.