When wheels fall off cars, they can cause havoc in any direction they are propelled. Other vehicles, pedestrians, and even people in buildings can be struck. A lost wheel can also cause drivers to swerve or brake abruptly, resulting in an accident.
There are two main reasons why wheels fall off moving trucks or cars:
- Failure of the wheel-mounting system, such as lug nuts and wheel studs
- Failure of the hub- and wheel-bearing assembly
You might not be exactly literate in the language of lug nuts, wheel studs and pneumatic wrenches, but you must make sure your mechanic is. Usually wheel failures are caused by maintenance that has been postponed once too often. Sometimes, they are due to a manufacturing defect, as was the case in 2013, when Cadillac recalled 27,000 of its SRX model due to potential lug nut problem.
Usually – and unfortunately – the most common indicator of improperly tightened lug nuts is the wheel coming off the vehicle. Even if you feel the car shaking, it might be too late. On rough pavement, a driver might be unaware of wheel failure.
A Professional Should Service Your Car
You should never delay maintaining your wheels. When you have it done, make sure the person who does it isn’t your brother-in-law “who’s handy with cars.’’ Hire a professional. The lug nuts for every vehicle model must be tightened to a specific torque. If they are too loose, or too tight, potentially big problems could follow.
As Tire Review made quite clear in a piece It’s Really All About Lug Nuts, if you didn’t know that before, you know it now.
You need an attorney who can investigate
“We do not have much information about wheel off incidents,’’ said William Schaefer, director of vehicle programs at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in an interview about trucks and tire loss. “A lost wheel may not be discovered immediately by the vehicle operator and when it is, it is fixed, providing no record for enforcement or research efforts. Also, even when a wheel is involved in a crash – whether with another vehicle or with pedestrians or property – the driver may not know it has happened and tracking down the vehicle could be a challenging forensic exercise.’’
If that is the case, you need an attorney who has forensic investigation as part of their skillset. Look no further than the Arizona law firm of Israel & Gerity, LLC. They are a team that can help you if you have suffered personal injury or lost a family member due to someone’s negligence.