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They can happen on Interstate 95, Route 6, or other various roads throughout Rhode Island. When a wheel comes loose, a driver can lose control of his or her vehicle. When wheel runoffs occur, they often result in devastating crashes, including:
Additionally, the wheel itself can become a danger to other road users. In many cases, loose wheels strike other vehicles on major roads and highways. A loose wheel can crash through someone’s windshield and cause injuries to multiple vehicle occupants.
Crash Forensics has identified several scenarios in which a wheel runoff accident can occur, as well as the factors involved.
One of the primary causes of wheel runoffs is improper installation of a wheel, often caused by over- or under-torquing lug nuts. This can lead to mounting failures.
Wheel bolts have the ability to stretch and pull back to their original shape. This is called “Clamp Load.” When lug nuts are over-torqued on a wheel, the bolts can be stretched beyond their capacity, reducing their ability to maintain Clamp Load.
On passenger vehicles, the lug nut torque shouldn’t exceed 100 foot-pounds. However, many impact wrenches used by mechanics have a torque capability of 300 to 500 foot-pounds.
Under-torquing lug nuts can result in a loose wheel. Overtime, the lug nuts can fall off. This can be caused by poor wrench quality, as well as eroded or rusted bolts.
Wheel and hub bearing failures are usually attributed to four factors:
Warning signs often include leaking hub seals, unusual wear on tire tread, and smoke. Drivers may also experience clicking and popping sounds, wheel grinding, clunking, a vibrating steering wheel, and overall wheel instability.
Accidents involving loose wheels can be complex. Finding out who is responsible may require a thorough investigation. Responsible parties may be:
If you or a loved one was injured in a wheel runoff accident, you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side who will leave no stone unturned. No matter how complex your crash may be, attorney Mark B. Morse has the legal knowledge and experience to find out where negligence occurred. Contact us today to get your claim started.