Things with lots of moving parts are complex to maintain. And a large semi-truck has a lot of moving parts. From the engine and the drive train, made up of hundreds of intricate parts, to springs in the driver's seat, there are thousands of parts of a modern truck.
Most of these vehicles are maintained properly and travel thousands of miles every year. But with millions of trucks on the road, if only a very small percentage are poorly maintained, the exposure of the public to these potentially deadly trucks is still quite large.
An incident that appears to be related to poor truck maintenance, occurred this week in Pennsylvania, when what appears to be a pair to tires attacked to a dual hub separated from a tractor-trailer on I-79, bounced across the median and into the southbound lanes, where they struck two separate vehicles. The driver of the first vehicle was killed when the tires smashed the windshield and roof of his SUV.
These types of truck accidents are not as rare as you might expect. The failure of some bolts may be all it takes, and trailers may not receive the regular maintenance they need, as they seemingly do not have to do anything. By contrast, a tractor simply may not operate if maintenance is overlooked.
Pennsylvania State Police are looking for the vehicle, but the driver may not even have been aware that the rear tires separated and the truck could have been out of state before the driver realized anything was wrong.
As this accident shows, when it comes to truck accidents, small acts of negligence can lead to catastrophic results.
WTAE.com, "Police seek truck that lost tires, killing driver," September 9, 2014