A few days ago on S3 between Legnica and Lubin, there was a dangerous accident. The truck fell into a green belt and a 26-year-old driver was trapped in a crushed cabin. The cause of the accident was most likely a rupture in the front tyre. This event shows that you need to take care of your tyres also in the summer season when they are exposed to overheating in hot weather.
According to the information provided by the local media, it took several fire brigades and heavy equipment from Legnica and several rescuers to get to a 26-year-old driver trapped in a crashed truck cabin. This operation took several dozen minutes, after which the man, who was conscious all the time, was taken to the hospital. The event was probably caused by a rupture in the front left tyre.
What do you have to remember about in the heat?
High temperatures increase the risk of tyres overheating. On hot days the asphalt heats up to 60 degrees Celsius. Then the tyres become soft and their contact surface increases, making them more susceptible to damage. Tyres wear out more quickly during the summer months and are a potential accident hazard. They may burst, rupture or catch fire while driving.
This is why drivers should pay more attention to tyres in summer. Before starting each route, the trucker should carefully check the tyres for any damage such as cracks, blisters and bulges. Check the cold inflation pressure of your tyres (including spare tyre) at least once every two weeks.
What to do in case of damage?
If a tyre rupture occurs despite the above-mentioned precautions, it is essential to remain calm and start braking as soon as possible. However, it must not be too sudden – the vehicle must be braked gradually.
If a tyre on a steering axle is damaged, the vehicle becomes harder to drive and is carried to the right or left, depending on the side on which the tyre is flat.
When a tyre ignites, the first rule is “not to endanger human life,” explains the German automobile club ADAC. In the case of twin tyres, continue driving with the hazard warning lights on until the burning tyre separates from the rim. However, it is essential not to stop suddenly, as this could lead to the fire spreading to the truck. Also, remember to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
If the tyre has already separated from the rim, stop the vehicle on the emergency lane, secure the location of the accident, uncouple the tractor and park it about 20 m away – the ADAC recommends.
For single tyres or front steering axle tyres, however, the driver needs to consider whether it would be better to stop the vehicle or continue driving at a low speed. However, it is essential that the trucker stops if a burning tyre breaks or comes loose from the rim. Otherwise, he may lose control of the vehicle.
A burning tyre can be extinguished with a standard six-kilogram powder extinguisher during the initial phase of a fire. The driver should call the fire department (if possible while still in motion) as soon as possible, giving a detailed description of the vehicle’s position and cargo information.
Take care of yourself, too!
The professional driver does not only have to deal with high temperatures in summer. After all, this is the holiday season, so there is a lot of traffic. It is therefore very important for the driver to focus on what is happening on the road. Therefore, truckers should take care of their well-being – remember to have enough sleep, enough liquids (3 litres of water per day) and proper nutrition. When the driver feels tired on the road, he should stop for a short break and have a snack rich in carbohydrates, such as fruit.