[SystemSafety] Wheel detachment from a moving car

From: David Crocker < >
Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 15:26:28 +0100

My partner has a nasty near-accident on Tuesday. While travelling on a dual carriageway at 60mph, she became aware of a new noise from the vehicle. Shortly afterwards, the front nearside wheel detached and she saw it roll into an adjacent field. Fortunately the car did not tip over. She is a skilful driver, so she allowed the vehicle to decelerate without using the brake. She was not rear-ended, and when at a slow speed she drove it into the adjacent grass verge. She was shaken but unharmed. The car is beyond economic repair because the steering assembly and other parts are wrecked.

She had driven 500 miles since having the tyre on that wheel replaced.

This got me thinking:

  1. How often do wheels detach from cars while travelling? Are there any figures recorded? Have any fatalities occurred as a result?
  2. Why is there no requirement on manufacturers and fitters to use locking wire, a cotter pin, or some other mechanism to ensure that the wheel nuts cannot come off? I notice that some HGVs do use locking wire on the wheel nuts.
David Crocker, Escher Technologies Ltd.
Tel. +44 (0)20 8144 3265 or +44 (0)7977 211486

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Received on Thu May 21 2015 - 16:25:20 CEST

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