We see them, pass by them, sometimes even dodge them - those frayed rubber tire strips baking on Texas roads and highways. They represent someone's bad day, and, sometimes, they represent someone's last day. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded over 738 tire-related traffic fatalities. Tire failures, especially violent blowouts, cause thousands of accidents every year, putting even the safest and most vigilant drivers at risk.
The threat of tire failure remains especially prominent in the Lone Star State, where copious sunlight and hot temperatures shorten tire life. Last month, blown tires caused a double rollover crash in San Antonio. Drivers should maintain their tires to the best of their abilities to keep the roads safe, and tire manufacturers must make the safest products possible.
Can I prevent tire failure?
Maintaining your tires helps. Check your tires at least once a month. Scan for cracks, air bubbles, and unevenness in the sidewalls. Check the tread for wear (use the "penny test"), for splits and damage, and look for one-sided wear on the tread, which indicates possible vehicle misalignment. Monitor your tire pressure, especially during seasonal temperature changes, and don't overfill your tires or drive on low tires.
Slowing down and driving safely will also help preserve your tires. Don't spin your tires or drive over curbs. Don't start, stop, or turn too fast. Leave plenty of following distance on the road so you can see and avoid debris, potholes, and other tire-damaging hazards. Drivers actually have a responsibility to maintain their cars for the safety of others (called "Negligent Maintenance"), and this includes tire safety practices. Protect yourself by protecting your tires!
Though responsible vehicle owners maintain them, tires are subject to harsh road conditions, temperature changes, and extreme weight. Manufacturers design them to withstand such things during their lifespans when coupled with proper maintenance. However, not all tires are created equally, and some cannot be made safe no matter what the driver does.
Are vigilant drivers still at risk for blowouts?
Unfortunately, yes. Many blowouts are completely unavoidable. Sometimes a neglected tire violently reaches the end of its lifespan while a driver is on the road. Other times tires are primed to blow regardless of driver precaution due to external variables or manufacturing defects.
Manufacturing defects in tires are too often uncovered by real-world accidents, not product testing. Tires are manufactured en masse and distributed to the market; manufacturers issue a recall after a defective tire has already caused an accident.
Tire failure accidents can end catastrophically. Blowouts send one vehicle careening suddenly into another or veering off the road. Many tire blowouts also occur at high speeds from heated rubber, causing turbulent rollovers and head-on collisions. Serious injuries and fatalities stem from tire failures, and resulting accidents can be completely life-changing.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident caused by a tire failure, you may have legal recourse. Call us today at 210-255-2231, or submit a confidential contact form via our website. Our car accident attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm have successfully litigated several high-profile tire failure cases. We have the experience and expertise needed to win.
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