Truck crashes in Indiana can occur for several reasons. But no matter the reasons, crashes involving 18-wheelers or commercial trucks can cause fatalities and injuries. Debris thrown from a truck is one common reason for truck crashes. Flying wheels are two of the most common types of debris that can result in truck crashes.
An object hit by a flying wheel has almost no chance of avoiding the wheel. A driver, pedestrian, vehicle or pet could become a victim. Large flying objects are difficult to avoid, especially if it’s a tire from an 18-wheeler.
A typical steel wheel for a large commercial truck weighs about 50 pounds. An aluminum wheel is lighter at around 30 pounds but can still cause significant damage. One wheel for some semi-trucks can weigh up to 110 pounds.
A fast-moving flying wheel can cause serious injuries or worse. The impact force and the tire’s weight can easily result in a fatality.
Some occupations have a high risk of exposing workers to flying debris from truck crashes. For example, highway workers are often on the side of the road performing maintenance or cleaning tasks. These people rarely have protective gear and are vulnerable on the road. However, a person can get hit by a flying tire even if they aren’t on the road.
In 2019, a 21-year-old woman at a rest stop was killed by flying wheels from a passing truck. The woman was pronounced dead on the scene. After an investigation, the incident was attributed to equipment failure.
Equipment failure can include several things, such as old and worn truck parts causing a wheel to detach from the truck. Wheel bearing failure, tire defects and improperly installed truck parts can also cause wheels to detach from a truck.