Tire Blowouts and Tire Defects
A tire blowout is the sudden deflation of a tire and it can have serious consequences that often result in serious car accidents. When a car tire blows while the car is in motion, the chances of the car impacting another vehicle or a stationary object are high. This is because the sudden loss of pressure in the tire often makes the car uncontrollable, preventing the driver from safely stopping the car or from controlling the car’s path of travel. Blowout often cause cars to swerve off the road, move into oncoming traffic, or suffer a rollover.Reasons a Tire Blowout May Occur
A blowout can be caused by the error of a driver or by poor design or construction by a manufacturer. Also, dangerous road hazards, like running over a nail or hitting a pothole, can cause blowouts. So can striking a curb, operating on under-inflated or overinflated tires, or using tires beyond their useful lives are some of the ways a driver may contribute to a tire blowout.
Others factors, though, are entirely beyond the driver’s control. These factors includes a poorly designed or produced tire, tires with defective treads that separate, retreaded tires, or even tires made of sub-standard materials.Why do tires blowout in the first place?
Tires are made of rubber which is a limited-life product. Like all things made of rubber, tires deteriorate over time as the rubber breaks down and begins to degrade. This makes older tires more dangerous than newer tires and is one of the reasons that experts recommend replacing tires every five or six years, depending on the design of the tire, how the tire is used, and what weather the tire has experienced.Tire Companies Could be At-fault
All too often, the tire industry is quick to blame a driver when a tire blowout occurs. Often, though, these accidents are caused by the tire themselves and not by the driver. When a tire blowout is due to a defect in the tire, there can be a claim against the manufacturer or even the retailer in many cases.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects information on defective tires on behalf of the government. Since Congress instituted this reporting system, millions of tires have been found to be defective and have been recalled.
Some of those tires were the cause of thousands of collisions that caused injuries or even death. Though there has been a system of recalling bad tires, consumers should note that not every defective tire gets recalled.
Recalls generally occur after several similar incidents which means that multiple individual tires in the same line of tires have to fail before the government takes action. If an entire line of tires is defective, this may lead to recalls but only after several accidents take place. On the other hand, if only a single tire or a few tires are defective, it may be much harder to determine the problem and it is less likely these tires will be recall. This means that just because a design of tire has not been recalled does not mean that it is safe.Tires with More Miles Blowout More Often
Vehicles that log a great number of miles are more likely to use retreaded or recapped tires than new tires. Retreading is a common process for tires of semi trucks, racecars, delivery vehicles, buses, and even airplanes. Retreading is a refurbishing of used tires where additional rubber material is added to increase or restore the original tread depth. This results in usable tires with a much lower cost than new tires though some contend there are serious safety concerns associated with this process.
Retreaded tires were long believed to fail at a higher rate than new tires but new studies place this traditional view in doubt. Experts do agree that the most common method of retreading results in a seam on the new tire and that this seam can cause uneven wearing of the rubber which in turn can lead to a blowout.Types of Accidents Caused by Tire Blowouts
A tire blowout is serious and can cause any type of accident. Sometimes a driver is able to maintain control of the vehicle after a tire blows and can bring the vehicle to a stop without any additional damage being done. More often, the blown tire causes the vehicle to veer in one direction, making it difficult to impossible for the driver to control the car. This may lead to a collision with another car, a road barrier, an overpass, or even a building.
Another common type of car accident resulting from a blowout is a rollover crash. This is prevalent among SUVs and other large, top-heavy vehicles as the weight distribution makes them prone to roll over. When a tire blows on an SUV or similar car, the sudden movement as the car veers in the direction of the blown tire may be too extreme of a change in weight for the car to remain upright. This can cause the car to roll, usually towards the side of the blown tire, and the car can either stop on its side or continue rolling several times. Rollovers are most common at higher rates of speed where the momentum propelling the vehicle forward is significant. Unfortunately the combination of the high rate of speed and the rollover makes these crashes likely to cause serious injury or death.Liability after a Tire Blowout Car Crash
If another dreiver hits and injures you because their tire blows out, it is possible that they will be considered legally liable for the crash because they failed to follow their:
- Duty to act reasonably, such as slamming on their brakes during a blowout
- Duty to inspect, since it's the driver's responsibility to ensure their car is safe to drive.
- Duty to repair, if they knew something was wrong with their tire
With a great deal at stake in these cases, you want to consult with a skilled lawyer who can help you through every step of your claim. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are personal injury attorneys ready to handle cases where someone is injured due to a defective tire. We will fight the tire manufacturer, the distributor, and anyone who performed maintenance on the tire to get you a recovery you deserve.
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your phone call and to provide you with a free, no obligation telephone consultation. We can be reached locally at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442). If you prefer, you can also contact us online for a free consultation regarding your rights. We do not charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf so please do not hesitate to contact us today.