Re: [SystemSafety] Wheel detachment from a moving car

From: Chris Hills < >
Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 13:22:16 +0100

Hi David

I have an answer it's "data free" but...

I live in a small town in England and
The number of tyre/breaks/exhaust places (approximately 10 and they have multiple bays) with a steady stream of vehicles all day, 6 days a week, having tyres/breaks done that require the removal and replacement or wheels AND
the number of local service garages (>14) that also replace wheels, but to a lesser extent.
A smaller number of people (and RAC/AA) who change wheels due to punctures

Multiply this by all the towns in England (averaging out the big towns/cities and the very small ones) and you have a vast number (it has to be well into the thousands) of wheels being replaced every day in England.

I think had there been any real problem in the numbers of wheels coming loose it would be well known problem. Thus locking wire and or cotter pins would be required. Especially after the last 100 + years of increasing use of motor vehicles.

Certainly the RAC/AA roadside teams would be using a locking fluid on their roadside wheel changes if either organisation saw any problems at all.... The Same would apply to the major chains of Tyre/break concerns such as ATS As none of them do I can only conclude that there is no significant problem with wheels coming loose.



-----Original Message-----
From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx David Crocker
Sent: 21 May 2015 15:26
To: The System Safety List
Subject: [SystemSafety] Wheel detachment from a moving car

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

The System Safety Mailing List systemsafety_at_xxxxxx
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Received on Fri May 22 2015 - 14:23:35 CEST

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