Whether you are a road warrior or simply drive a few times a week locally, chances are good that you have passed the fragmented remains of a tire or two from a tractor-trailer truck, especially on the highway. The visible pieces of rubber left on the roadway indicate a spot where an explosion of sorts took place. In an instant, that tire lost all of its air pressure and blew apart while the vehicle was moving down the road, possibly at a very high rate of speed. When a tire blowout like this happens, the driver frequently loses control, often resulting in a severe accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHSTA), there were 738 fatal automobile accidents that were tire-related in 2017. Many catastrophic truck accidents are due to a tire blowout.
Check Your Tires Regularly
Consumers sometimes hear about defective tires in news reports. There may be a flaw in the design, or a tire may become dangerous if air pressure levels are not kept at the proper inflation amount. In the past, some defective tires have been allowed to remain on the market even after numerous reports of their hazardous conditions have surfaced.
As a precautionary measure, accident attorneys advise car owners to do some research into the brand and type of tires they have on their vehicles. It is possible that consumers may find safety issues that have been reported regarding the tires they are using on their cars.
Periodic safety checks should also be performed. Take your vehicle to a reputable tire dealer and request an inspection, plus any rotation and balancing deemed necessary. This should be done on a regular basis. Some people time this type of maintenance to coincide with oil changes they perform routinely.
Additionally, drivers should perform a daily check of their tires. The inflation levels of your tires should be monitored, along with performing a visual scan of the tire treads for signs of dangerous wear or even embedded nails or other objects. When driving an automobile, be aware of any odd behavior, bumping or sounds coming from the tires.
Causes of Tire Blowouts Resulting in Auto Accidents
- Potholes on the road
- Small puncture spot, allowing slow air loss, then total pressure fail
- Large gash causing instant and rapid air loss
- An overloaded vehicle with too much weight on tires
Anything that seriously decreases a tire’s air pressure and restricts the tire from fully supporting the vehicle’s weight could potentially lead to a blowout. At present, blowouts are less frequent than in bygone years simply due to increased technology. However, tire blowouts that occur now can be even more dangerous, because drivers are not accustomed to them and likely do not know how to handle them. A driver’s actions in the critical seconds following a tire blowout can determine whether a catastrophic accident occurs.
Tips to Help Avoid Auto Accidents from Blowouts
Experienced auto accident attorneys provide the following information to help you prevent a car accident caused by a tire blowout:
- Prepare ahead of time. Regularly perform a tire check to monitor for sufficient traction. Use a penny with Lincoln’s head turned downward, and place it in the groove between each tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head in any instance, you should visit a tire dealer. Check air pressure by using your owner’s manual to determine the correct amount.
- Always maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead of you and your automobile.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel while driving. If a blowout occurs, you can more readily maintain control.
- Lift your foot off the accelerator instantly, but avoid the urge to step on the brake. If cruise control is on, immediately cancel it.
- Counter-steer gently to maintain your correct direction of travel.
- Safely pull over. Signal to move from travel lane onto the shoulder.
Contact an Attorney if Injured in a Tire Blowout Accident
The safety tips given above are designed to help a driver maintain control of a vehicle in the case of a tire blowout. Driving the speed limit and keeping a safe distance are extremely important.
If you or a loved one, however, have been involved in an accident that was caused by a tire blowout, you should immediately speak with a legal representative whose experience can work for you to help bring some resolution to a tragic situation. Our qualified auto accident attorneys know the proper steps to take to hold the responsible party accountable for costly medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Call The Eichholz Law Firm today for a free consultation.