Many drivers make sure to change their oil regularly or bring their car to the mechanic when they hear an unusual sound coming from under the hood. When it comes to tires, some of these same drivers are not so vigilant about their safety. It’s easy to assume everything’s OK, even if the treads are worn or the tire is under-inflated.
The reality is that a tire problem may eventually lead to a serious car accident. Tire blowouts have been linked to rollovers of SUVs, among the most popular vehicles on Rhode Island roads.
In fact, a faulty tire is more likely to be a factor in a fatal motor vehicle accident than a driver distracted by a smartphone, according the Statesman, which cited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
What are the top causes of tire failure?
According to tires-easy.com, a blowout caused by tire failure is almost always avoidable. Drivers should routinely check their tires to ensure they’re in good shape. While a manufacturing defect can lead to an accident, other factors are more likely to lead to tire failure. The website lists the following as the primary causes:
- Under-inflation: A tire without the proper amount of air can fail, especially at highway speeds. When it’s under-inflated, the tire will flex in the sidewall. The excessive flexing causes the tire to heat up, which can lead to a blowout.
- Rapid or irregular tire wear due to improper vehicle alignment: Tire treads may look “healthy” on one side but bald on the other, due to misalignment or worn suspension parts. A proper alignment means the tire will wear down evenly across all treads. It’s a good idea to check your alignment once a year.
- Road hazards: Potholes unfortunately are a part of living in Rhode Island. Even a new tire could fail if it strikes a crater in the road a high speed. In some cases, the impact with the pothole (or other obstacle in the road) results in a crack in the sidewall or damage to the internal cords of the tire. You may be able to drive on the tire for several more miles, but it’s critical to replace the tire as soon as possible. The damaged tire could eventually fail.
What to do if the tire is defective?
While not as common as the factors listed above, a manufacturing defect can lead to a blowout. The tire may be made with poorly mixed rubber or include air bubbles. A defective wheel rim might damage the tire.
If a faulty design of the tire contributes to accident, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
How an attorney can help in an accident caused by tire failure
You may regularly check your tires and replace them when necessary but there’s not much you can do about the other drivers who share the road with you. If you were in an accident caused by someone else, contact an experienced attorney to learn about your options.
We help our clients obtain the justice they deserve after an accident that causes serious injuries or death. Talk to the Law Office of Mark B. Morse LLC to learn how we can help.