Defective Rear Axle Suspension on Truck Results in Head Trauma and Permanent Injuries

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on June 28, 2017

axle suspensionThis case involves a man who was driving his heavy duty truck with his wife as the front seat passenger. After they had gone three miles, the plaintiff’s truck tire had a partial tread belt detachment. The truck veered off to the right and went off the road. The truck then went through a median and across an adjacent service road, where it went into the soft dirt beyond the service road. The truck then tripped and rolled over about 2 times. The plaintiff’s wife was not wearing a seat belt and she was ejected from the truck and thrown about 20 feet into the air. She landed about 50 feet from the truck. She suffered major head trauma and was permanently injured as a result of the accident. The plaintiff remained in the truck as it rolled numerous times and he suffered serious bodily injuries, including bruises and broken bones.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Is a truck with a solid rear axle suspension design unreasonably dangerous in the event of a tire tread separation accident?

Expert Witness Response

When a tire experiences tread belt separation in an accident, this can result in tread loss or rapid air loss. This causes a risk of a car accident. In some cases, a vehicle’s solid rear axle suspension design might allow the vehicle to bounce uncontrollably during a tire tread separation event. The bouncing of the axle can cause the rear of the vehicle to “skate” just like when someone is driving too fast over a corrugated gravel road. When this happens, the driver may lose control of the vehicle and crash. In general, a design of the rear suspension that uses stiffer shock absorbers placed near the wheels may give a vehicle more stability and a prevent loss of control by the driver. Skate happens when there is a reduction in the steering control that occurs when a vehicle’s tire loses traction as the result of bouncing on a rough surface. This motion causes the rear wheels of the vehicle to move sideways and the driver loses lateral steering control. A tire tread separation that occurs at one of the rear tires of a solid-rear-axle vehicle, such as a truck or SUV, can result in serious injuries or fatalities. The solid rear axle suspension has been shown to be less safe than the independent rear suspension used on some vehicles. The solid rear axle suspension has been shown to cause a loss of control during tire tread separation and this can lead to a rollover where a passenger is ejected from the vehicle.

Contact this expert witness

Find an Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness Near You

What State is your case in?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY