Tire Safety – by the Numbers
When it comes to the overall safety of a vehicle, the condition of its tires matters. Since the tire is the only part of a vehicle to physically contact the ground, it is important that it be able to withstand the physical wear to allow for the proper handling and braking critical to overall highway safety.
According to yearly estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, American drivers are estimated to travel around of 2,969 billion miles on tires and experience nearly 11,000 tire-related accidents or incidents.
Of those, it is estimated that nearly 200 people each year die of injuries sustained in accidents involving some degree of tire failure.
What Is Tire Failure?
Tire failure refers to dangerous conditions in tires, often due to deterioration – such as tread separation – which can lead to accidents, many of which come as the result of blowouts. Tire failure can be influenced by a number of elements, including tire maintenance, inflation and rotation, and in some cases may involve manufacturing defect.
Sometimes, defects occur in the manufacturing or design process for tires. Such defects can lead to tire tread separation, which increases the likelihood for a blowout or other tire-related accident.
If a tire failure has occurred due to manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will most likely be considered liable for the accident as well as any injuries resulting from it. However, this can sometimes be difficult to prove, especially in cases where a company contests liability.
Under-Inflation in the Tires
According to Consumer Reports surveys, as many as 50 percent of vehicles on the road may be utilizing one, or multiple, underinflated tires.
Despite the fact that under-inflation is quite common, many vehicle owners or operators may not be aware that the tire is losing air. This is mostly due to the fact that it often occurs so slowly that it may be mistaken for a seasonal fluctuation in tire pressure.
Under-inflation can severely compromise the overall drivability of a vehicle, making it increasingly difficult to maintain adequate handling and control. Even a small pressure loss can adversely affect handling and even lead to increased friction that causes tread separation or a blowout.
Additional Tire Maintenance
In addition to under-inflation, other aspects of poor tire maintenance – including failing to rotate or adequately repair a tire – can lead to tire failure.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that tires on a vehicle are properly balanced and aligned, which, along with rotation, can help extend the life of the tire, reducing the risk for accidents related to tire failure.
Additionally, tires that are poorly retreaded or restored, or those that are not properly inflated, may experience greater degrees of deterioration, which can precipitate tread separation.
Warning Signs of Tire Failure
Because tire failure can lead to severe accident and injury, it is important to be on the lookout for trouble signs and other indicators that a tire is failing. They can include:
- Cracks or other cuts present in the sidewall
- Uneven or excessively-worn tread
- Excessive vibration in the wheel when driving
- Blisters or bulges in the sidewall
Any of these issues are indicators that a tire should be replaced or properly serviced immediately. In many cases, it may be best to opt for a new tire, as refurbished or retreaded tires offer a number of risks, including an elevated risk for failure and subsequent injury.
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident that came as the result of tire failure? If so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, which is essential in order to recover compensation or other damages related to your situation, including those covering lost wages, disability or medical costs.
Tire Failure Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Throughout the City of Houston, Texas, the dedicated attorneys at The Ammons Law Firm LLP assist those dealing with complex personal injury matters, specifically those dealing with injuries sustained in accidents caused by tire defect or failure. Our team of legal specialists is highly experienced in this specific area of law, and can provide the sound legal guidance you need as you continue your road to recovery and restitution.
We understand dealing with personal injury is never easy, but we have the tools and experience necessary to assist you today. To schedule a free preliminary consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, call The Ammons Law Firm LLP at (713) 523-1606.