When driving along a highway, you often see pieces of tire on the side of the road. Much of this debris comes from tire blowouts, where the tire comes apart while driving. These blowouts caused immense risk for the driver and others around them on the road. Some drivers do not make it to the safety of the shoulder but instead are in an accident.
Other tire-related accidents happen due to a sudden flat tire when the driver has little warning to pull over. Some flat tires come from wear and tear or running over sharp objects. Others happen because a structurally weak tire is more prone to flattening suddenly.
Different parties can cause for tire-related accidents:
- The tire manufacturer might have sold an inherently defective tire.
- Another driver might have failed to properly inspect or maintain their tires, leading that vehicle to crash into yours when the tire blew.
- A repair shop might have improperly inspected or installed a tire.
- A road crew might have left a piece of equipment on the road, causing tire problems.
Following a tire-related accident, you should immediately speak with a car accident attorney in Spring Hill. This is true whether your tire blew out or someone else’s tire caused them to hit you. They can investigate the cause of your crash and who should be liable for your injuries and losses.
The Dangers of Defective Tires
When a tire suddenly flattens or comes off a car, it can cause serious risks to drivers and others around them. Some drivers can make it to safety. Others are in serious accidents that injure them and other nearby drivers.
What makes these crashes particularly dangerous?
- Tire blowout crashes often occur at high speeds, unleashing more force in the accident.
- The other driver is surprised and does not anticipate the driver with the tire blowout losing control, so they cannot take evasive action.
- The driver with the tire blowout can lose control, and the crash can involve multiple vehicles.
- Tire blowout crashes often occur at odd angles, increasing the chance of impact with a part of the car that cannot withstand a crash as well.
Crashes due to tire problems are often more severe than the average car accident, leaving you with more serious injuries. The severity of these potential crashes makes it even more critical for drivers to properly care for their tires.
Common Crashes Due to Defective Tires
Tire blowouts can cause many types of collisions, depending on the speed of the vehicles, type of road, traffic conditions, and other circumstances.
Here are some common crashes that result from tire blowouts:
- Multi-car crashes because a driver swerved across the roadway after a tire went down
- Rollover crashes because a car loses its center of gravity when the tire blew
- Single-car accidents because you lost control of your vehicle due to a sudden blowout
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that rollover accidents have the highest fatality rate of any type of crash (even higher than head-on collisions). Those who survive tire blowout accidents often suffer serious injuries that have lasting and costly effects.
If another driver’s tire caused your injuries, you can likely seek compensation from their insurance company. However, what if you crashed alone in a single-vehicle accident due to your own tire?
You might still have important rights to compensation after a single-vehicle crash, as a tire company or another party might be to blame. Always seek a free legal consultation, even if no other vehicles were in the collision.
Accidents Due to Improper Tire Maintenance by Another Driver
Accidents can happen due to improper tire maintenance by another driver, often leading to serious consequences on the road. Proper tire maintenance is crucial for vehicle safety, and a failure to maintain tires can result in accidents that put not only the driver at risk but also other road users.
When another driver fails to properly care for their tires, and you suffer injuries, they should be accountable.
Improper tire maintenance can mean many things, such as:
- Underinflated tires – When drivers do not keep tires inflated to the recommended pressure, it can lead to increased tire wear, reduced traction, and decreased fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts, especially at higher speeds or during hot weather.
- Overinflated tires – Overinflated tires can cause a vehicle to have reduced contact with the road, leading to poor handling and traction. This can result in difficulty controlling the vehicle, especially during sudden maneuvers or adverse weather conditions.
- Worn tires – Tires with insufficient tread depth can compromise a vehicle’s grip on the road, reducing braking capabilities and increased risks of skidding or hydroplaning on wet surfaces.
- Unevenly worn tires: Uneven tire wear can result from poor alignment or improper tire rotation, leading to imbalanced handling and increased risks of accidents, especially during emergency maneuvers.
- Using mismatched tires: Using tires of different sizes, types, or tread patterns can cause handling issues and lead to uneven wear, affecting the vehicle’s stability and control.
- Overloaded vehicles – Exceeding the recommended load capacity of tires can result in excessive stress on the tires, leading to tire failure and accidents.
Drivers have a duty to seek regular tire inspections and cover repairs or replacements when necessary. Many drivers cut corners by driving too long on a tire, having inadequate tires for weather conditions, or ignoring a tire pressure light on their dashboard.
If a tire blowout causes someone to crash into your car, you should immediately consult with a car accident attorney. Holding another driver accountable for an accident due to improper tire maintenance requires that you prove they were negligent in their tire maintenance.
Your lawyer can gather proper documentation, evidence, and expert analysis of the tire conditions to identify and prove the cause of the blowout.
A driver’s insurance company can be difficult when accepting the policyholder’s liability for a tire blowout. They might try to blame other parties, such as the tire manufacturer. These can be technical and complex claims, but you still deserve full compensation. You need the right legal help.
Accidents Due to Negligent Tire Repair or Installation
Tire blowouts can also happen due to negligent tire repair or installation by tire professionals. Failure to perform proper tire work can lead to hazardous driving conditions and accidents on the road.
Negligent tire repair or installation can include:
- Improper tire patching – If a tire has a puncture, it may require patching to restore its integrity. Negligent tire repair may involve improper patching techniques or materials, leading to a weak patch that may fail under pressure. This can result in sudden tire blowouts while driving, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Damaged or defective tires – Shops might mount damaged or defective tires onto a vehicle. These tires may have manufacturing defects, bulges, or cuts, making them more prone to failure and potentially causing accidents.
- Over- or under-torqued lug nuts – Improperly torquing lug nuts during tire installation can lead to wheel imbalance or even detachment from the vehicle while driving. Over-torquing can cause damage to the wheel or brake components while under-torquing can lead to loose wheels.
- Mixing tire types – Negligent installation may involve mixing different types of tires on a vehicle, such as using summer and winter tires together. Mixing tire types can negatively impact handling and traction, especially in adverse weather conditions.
- Incorrect tire size or load rating – Installing tires that are the wrong size or do not have the appropriate load rating for the vehicle can result in instability and poor handling, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Failure to balance tires – Balancing tires allows for smooth and stable driving. Negligent installation may involve failing to properly balance the tires, leading to vibrations and potential steering issues.
Many drivers know little about tire installation and repair. They might leave a tire shop assuming their vehicle is in good working order with proper tires. Suddenly, the driver might experience a blowout and end up in the emergency room with injuries. The accident might also cause injuries to others on the road.
If this happens to you, you should not be liable for your injuries or injuries to others in the crash. The tire shop responsible for the negligent repair or installation should also be responsible for the losses anyone experienced as a result.
Proving the negligence of a tire or auto repair shop can be challenging. First, you must ensure the facility does not destroy any evidence or records regarding the repairs. Contact a lawyer immediately to send a demand letter for evidence preservation to possible liable parties.
Drivers Ignoring Recalls
Tire manufacturers must often recall hundreds of thousands of tires at a time. They often do this after learning of numerous accidents involving a particular design or class of tire. Recalls can happen due to defects that affect the tire’s structural integrity, tread separation, sidewall bulges, or other safety-related issues.
In the largest tire recall of all time, Firestone recalled 14.5 million tires. Here, the company applied too much adhesive between the rubber and the steel, which caused the tread to separate. There were over 500 tire blowouts because of this defect. Firestone even ceased to exist as an independent entity because of the large-scale liability it faced.
Every year, companies announce numerous tire recalls. When drivers learn of a recall that applies to their vehicle, they must bring the car to an authorized dealer, who will perform any repairs or replace the tires entirely.
All drivers should stay informed about tire recalls and promptly respond to any recall notices they receive from tire manufacturers or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When drivers ignore tire recall notices, they drive on defective tires that can blow out at any moment. Such drivers can be liable if they ignore a recall and a defective tire causes injuries to others.
Claims Against Tire Manufacturers
Sometimes, a tire blowout happens simply because a tire was defective when the manufacturer sold it. In such cases, you can hold the corporation responsible for the harm its product caused.
There are three different types of product defects:
- Design defects – The design itself is faulty and unreasonably dangerous for the product’s intended purposes. Design defects affect an entire class of tires instead of an individual lot.
- Manufacturing defects – The manufacturer made an error with a particular tire, which made it unreasonably dangerous.
- Marketing defects – The manufacturer recommended the tire for improper circumstances (such as snow or ice) or failed to warn of the limitations or risks of the tire.
Your car accident attorney can advise on how you might seek compensation from a tire manufacturer. These are highly complex matters; others might also have similar claims to yours.
Tire Blowout Claims Due to Road Defects
Tire blowouts due to road defects can be highly dangerous and unexpected events. Road defects, such as potholes, cracks, uneven surfaces, or debris on the road, can cause severe damage to tires, leading to blowouts while driving.
Potholes, in particular, are a common road defect that significantly threatens tire safety. When a tire strikes a pothole, the impact can cause damage to the tire’s sidewall or tread, leading to weak spots or bulges that can eventually result in a blowout.
When government agencies fail to maintain roads or road crews improperly repair roads or leave things on the road, these entities can be liable for accidents. There are many specific requirements in these cases, and you need a highly experienced car accident attorney on your side.
Consult a Car Accident Attorney Today
No matter what caused the tire blowout – or whose tire blew – discuss a possible car accident claim with a lawyer immediately if you have injuries. Many people assume they have no rights if a tire blows, but this is not usually the case. Seek a no-cost case evaluation as soon as possible.