Yes, truck tires are a frequent cause of truck accidents. In fact, truck tires are so important to the overall safety of a truck that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued regulations that are specific to large trucks.
Section 393.75 addresses tires. It provides:
(a) No motor vehicle shall be operated on any tire that (1) has ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall, (2) has any tread or sidewall separation, (3) is flat or has an audible leak, or (4) has a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed.
(b) Any tire on the front wheels of a bus, 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. The measurements shall not be made where tie bars, humps, or fillets are located.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, tires shall have a tread groove pattern depth of at least 2/32 of an inch when measured in a major tread groove. The measurement shall not be made where tie bars, humps, or fillets are located.
(d) No bus shall be operated with regrooved, recapped or retreaded tires on the front wheels.
(e) A regrooved tire with a load-carrying capacity equal to or greater than 2,232 kg (4,920 pounds) shall not be used on the front wheels of any truck or truck tractor.
In addition to the above regulations, the FMCSA also regulates tire inflation pressure.
(h) (1) No motor vehicle shall be operated on a tire which has a cold inflation pressure less than that specified for the load being carried.
(2) If the inflation pressure of the tire has been increased by heat because of the recent operation of the vehicle, the cold inflation pressure shall be estimated by subtracting the inflation buildup factor shown in the below table:
|Minimum Inflation Pressure Buildup|
|Average speed of vehicle in the previous hour||Tires with 1,814 kg (4,000 lbs) maximum load rating or less||Tires with over 1,814 kg (4,000 lbs) load rating|
|68-88.5 km/hr (41-55 mph)||34.5 kPa (5 psi)||103.4 kPa (15 psi)|