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Every year on our nation’s roads, countless vehicles experience tire blow outs. Some of these incidents have resulted in serious automobile accidents because a driver loses control of the vehicle. Some of these motor vehicle accidents involve one vehicle, but many of them also involve multiple vehicles and a great deal of physical injury and property damage.
There are a wide variety of causes for tire blow outs, including but not limited to:
When a tire is properly inflated, the middle of the tire bears the vehicle’s weight. If a tire is underinflated, the weight is shifted to the edges of the tire. This shift in weight can trigger or accelerate tread separation in a defective tire, causing a blow out. It is suggested that motor vehicle owners check the pressure in their tires at least once a month.
Cracks in or around a valve stem cause air leakage. This air loss may be so slight that it is not noticeable. The resultant air loss results in improper weight bearing of tires and a possible blow out.
A tire may look new even if it has been on a shelf for years. The rubber in fact has aged and can quickly acquire stress cracks or fatigue and eventual sidewall failure. The defect may then result in a blow out. On the inner ring of markings, near the rim, is the US DOT tire identification number. The last four numbers will tell a consumer the week and year that the tire was manufactured. The number 3908 for example, would signify that a tire was made on the 39th week of 2008. It is recommended to keep a tire’s life under five years.
When a tire has wear bars showing or has less than 1/16 of an inch tread depth, it is considered bald and should be replaced. These tires are prone to a flat or a blow out as they are in a weakened state. Taking a penny and placing it upside down between the tread is a way to check tread depth. If the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head is showing, there is insufficient tread left on the tire.
Manufacture errors have resulted in tire blow outs, which resulted in traffic accidents causing serious injuries, and in some instances, fatalities. Flaws in the design and placement of belts on tread have caused tread separation and blow outs. If steel belts are not constructed with an underlying cushion and overlaying nylon, the belts shift, causing tread separation and subsequent blow out. Proper cushions and belt wedges on belt edges should be applied during construction to ensure sidewall strength, or failure can occur.
Using old or expired adhesives, adhesives mixed improperly, curing tires at the wrong temperature, using aged rubber, or a manufacturer with an unclean facility can all cause poor adhesion in tire components. Tread may then separate circumferentially and laterally, causing a blow out.
When a seemingly good tire experiences a blow out it should be closely examined. If possible high resolution photographs should be taken. Corroded or rusty wires indicate moisture contamination during the construction process. Bare wires indicate the adhesive was defective. A brassy wire appearance indicates no adhesion took place.
When a tire begins to lose tread it creates a drag, pulling the vehicle in the direction of the damaged tire. If a vehicle comes in contact with dirt or grass during this time it can trip and go into a roll. SUV’s have a high rate of rollover due to their high center of gravity. Attempting to correct a drag in a SUV will put the vehicle off balance and cause a rollover.
If while riding in an automobile and a tire begins to lose tread or flattens, and the vehicle begins to drag, do not attempt to correct the drag or decelerate. The vehicle will stabilize. Then after such time, slowly decelerate and bring the vehicle to a stop.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Three percent of motor vehicle accidents are rollovers caused by tire blow outs.
30 percent of these accidents result in fatalities.
10,000 people die every year in rollover accidents.
62 percent of these deaths are contributable to SUV rollovers.
24,000 people are seriously injured.
Depending on the type of vehicle, when a rollover occurs, the roof can crush causing the occupants to sustain spinal cord injuries, closed head wounds, paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, anoxic brain damage or even death.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or car or property damage due to a tire blow out, fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with tire blow outs and other defects. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
This site is sponsored by the Newsome Melton Law Firm.
The Newsome Melton Law Firm is located in Orlando, Florida and represents consumers who have been injured by defective products.