Tire Blowouts and Accidents
Old tires in bad condition that deflate or blowout while driving on the highway cause many motor vehicle accidents.
Bald and worn tires are the main causes of vehicle crashes that in many cases leave a lot of people injured or dead.
Doing a safety check before hitting the road is a good way to prevent this kind of accident from happening, but just how dangerous are they?
How can you really prevent them? What is there to know about them?
How Dangerous are Tire Blowouts?
Tire blowout-related accidents are a common sight in the United States; they cause many car accidents, injuries, and take the life of many drivers and passerby’s.
According to a 2003 NHTSA report, an estimated 414 fatalities, 10,275 non-fatal injuries, and 78,392 crashes occurred annually due to flat tires or blowouts before tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) were installed in vehicles.
The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey in 2005 to 2007 recorded 5,470 crashes, representing 2,188,970 crashes at the national level.
In 9% of these, one or more vehicles experienced tire problems in the pre-crash phase. Correspondingly, of the estimated 3,889,770 vehicles involved in the NMVVCS crashes.,5% experienced tire problems in the pre-crash phase.
50% of the tire-related collisions were single vehicle crashes, while only 31% of collisions where tire-related crash factors were not cited were single-vehicle crashes.
What to Do On The Road if My Tires Blowout?
The first action is to avoid panic and to not overreact. The instinct of many people is to brake hard or steer the vehicle. This could lead to tragic consequences.
The sound of a tire blowout can be scary, but that is all. The dynamics of a vehicle will not cause it to crash, but the driver’s actions could.
Here are some tips to help you avoid a tragedy:
- Keep the steering wheel steady.
You have to lock the steering wheel with both hands so you do not lose control of the car, because you immediately want to go to the side depending on which tire was affected.
- Never brake.
This is a mistake that can be fatal and that causes the car to lose its balance completely. In the event of driving on a dirt road, you have to accelerate the car a bit to maintain stability and to prevent the remaining wheels from skidding.
- Slow down with the gearbox and natural deceleration.
You must stop somehow. One option is through the vehicle’s gearbox, so that it slows down on speed. Another option is simply waiting for the car to stop naturally, as we move to the curb. No matter the option, the important thing is to never stop and to keep the wheel fixed.
- Turn on the emergency lights and change the wheel.
If you could not stop at the berm, or in case there wasn’t one, you have to prevent accidents by putting up the safety cones of your emergency kit. Then, when you are out of danger, change the wheel and you are ready to go.
What Causes a Tire to Blowout?
Before delving deeper into this topic, the first thing to be clear about is that there doesn’t have to be holes in the tires for them to blow out.
By the process of permeability the tires are losing air with each passing day.
It is estimated that during winter a tire loses between 1 to 2 pounds per square inch, while at high temperatures the pressure loss may be even greater.
In addition, tires are subject to the elements and if they are too strong, contribute to the decrease in air pressure. These normal operating factors require the pressure to be checked periodically to ensure that it is at the proper level.
However, if the pressure loss is too high, the tire must also be checked, as well as the inflation valve, to verify that the tire is well seated in the ring, and to check for cracks.
If problems persist, it may also be advisable to change the vulcanizer or to visit a specialized tire shop.
If you suffered injury from a tire blowout it might be wise to contact a top car accident attorney for advice and a free legal consultation.
If you were involved in a car accident due to tire blowout and you feel the police report is wrong then read more in our blog.
Tips To Avoid Tire Blowouts
- Be sure to pick the right tires.
Be sure to select the right tires based on tire ratings and check them continuously in order for them to perform at their maximum.
Keep in mind that tires:
- Are the only link between the vehicle and the road
- Support the entire weight of the car; a load of up to 50 times its own weight
- Respond to different driving movements such as steering, acceleration and braking of the car
- Absorb all obstacles on the road
- Regularly check the depth of the tire design and change them when worn.
In this way, both the grip and the traction will be guaranteed, avoiding unpleasant surprises.
Change the tires before the depth of the sculpture reaches the legal limit of 1.6 mm.
- Check the pressure every month.
Correct tire pressure reduces the risk of losing control of the vehicle. It also protects tires from premature wear and irreversible damage to the internal build.
Tire pressure can be reduced by small perforations, by the natural escape of air from the tire components, or even by a drop in ambient temperature.
Check the tire pressure, including the spare tire, every month and before a long trip, preferably with cold tires (tires that have not circulated more than 4 kilometers at low speed).
If checked warm, add 0.3 bar to the recommended pressure.
Are Tire Blowouts Covered By Insurance?
The type of insurance that covers accidents involving tire blowouts is called comprehensive insurance. This insurance is used when factors other than an accident or collision caused damaged to your vehicle, which are covered under collision insurance.
You should check with your insurance agent or a representative of your insurance company if you are unsure about what type of insurance coverage you have.
A possible reason that the tire had a blowout could be related to the tire itself. If the tire was defective, the damage may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
If it was a manufacturing defect that caused the blowout and subsequent damage, the manufacturer of the tire itself may be liable for the damage.
Having comprehensive insurance will not guarantee coverage in the event you have a tire blowout.
If the blowout caused damage to the car, there is a good chance that the damage would be covered by your insurance policy.
If there was not damage to the car, but just the tire, it would often not be considered to be a covered circumstance.
The driver may be responsible for negligently maintaining their vehicle, but it may also be the manufacturer, retailer, or installer.
This is why it is important for you to contact a legal team of experienced attorneys who can help you find the culprit behind the car crash.
How To Avoid Being At Fault For Tire Blowout Accident?
In many accidents, the driver is often the one held responsible. A driver whose vehicle endured a tire blowout due to their negligence is to blame for any tragedies that happen while on the road. This make them liable for any damages they caused and allows you to fill an insurance claim.
The driver could be liable during the following scenarios:
Duty to inspect:
All drivers should also monitor their tire pressure to avoid it becoming either under or over-inflated.
In addition, they are required to check their tires for signs of wear, such as being threadbare, worn, or cracked.
Failing to do any of these will make them liable for any accidents that may occur.
Duty of not driving with defective equipment:
Drivers with knowledge of a tire defect are legally required to avoid the roads until they have had such a defect fixed.
Daily routine checks can get the driver to be aware of the tires’ condition. If they fail to accomplish this and cause an accident, they are liable for your injuries.
Manufacturer, Retailer and Installer Liability
It’s not always the case that the driver is the culprit of an accident involving a tire blowout.
While it is true that drivers are held accountable for keeping their cars in shape and driving with caution on the road, there can still be some accidents which are beyond their control.
One perfect example of this: if you had your car inspected by a mechanic, a professional in his area, and he did not find the flaw that caused the car crash, then he is the one to be fully or partially liable, depending on the situation.
Another scenario in which the driver is not the culprit could be if an installer incorrectly installs a tire or mounts the wrong type of tire; this would obviously cause a terrible accident:
tires blowing up, deflating, bursting, popping out, etc. This type of negligence will allow you to hold them accountable for any injuries you suffered.
Furthermore, if a retailer knew they were selling a defective or old tire, they could be held liable as well. Lastly, the manufacturers that create the tires are responsible if their tire is defective or dangerous in design and leads to a blowout on the highway.
Famous Tire Recalls
In 2000 Firestone requested the recall of some 6.5 million tires used in Ford’s utility vehicles and other light trucks on the market.
This was announced by former Firestone’s vice president, Garry Crigger, who said it was an extraordinary action.
Anyone driving a vehicle with Firestone tires could change them free of charge at their local dealership. US authorities concluded a possible link between tire failures and accidents that killed 46 people during that year.
How much is your case worth?Get a free case evaluation