Tire Blowout Attorneys
Common Causes of Tire Blowouts and Liability for Tire-Related Accidents
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 11,000 tire-related car accidents in the United States each year. Some tire blowouts involve serious injury or even fatalities. However, nearly all tire-related car crashes and truck accidents are avoidable.
What Causes Tire Blowouts?
Some of the most common causes of tire blowouts and related accidents include:
- Negligent Tire Maintenance
- Defective Tire Manufacturing
- Tire Design Flaw
- Overweight Vehicles
- Potholes & Road Debris
Negligent Tire Maintenance
The most obvious issue with tire maintenance is that many drivers simply don’t regularly check their tires for wear, uneven treads, cracks, or other issues that may weaken the tire. In addition, many drivers subject their tires to excessive wear by neglecting to maintain appropriate tire pressure. An underinflated tire over flexes putting a strain on components and overheating the tire.
A driver who causes an accident because a poorly-maintained tire blows out on the road may be liable for any property damage or injuries caused by the blowout.
Defective Manufacture or Design
Sometimes, the reason for a tire blowout is a defect in the tire. The defect may be the result of faulty design, or it may be due to a manufacturing defect that occurred in a particular lot of tires—maybe a machine wasn’t calibrated properly, or the tire plant received a bad batch of materials.
When a blowout caused by a defective tire leads to an accident, the manufacturer and anyone in the supply chain, such as the wholesaler and the tire shop where the tires were purchased and installed, may be liable for any associated damages. You should contact a vehicle defect attorney if you suspect a defective condition in the tire was the cause of your accident.
Overloading the Vehicle
Tires are designed to carry a maximum amount of weight, and then only when properly maintained. Overloading a vehicle can put too much pressure on the tires and cause them to overheat, increasing the likelihood of a blowout. Although many drivers aren’t aware of it, every vehicle has a Gross Vehicular Weight Rating, which specifies the total safe operating weight of the vehicle, combined with passengers and cargo. Tire blowout is just one of the dangers associated with overloading a vehicle: you may also be at risk for brake failure, suspension failure, and other problems.
Potholes and Road Debris
Potholes, curbs, road debris and other materials that cause physical damage to a tire may cause a blowout in two different ways. First, the blowout may occur immediately when the tire strikes the hard edge of a pothole or an object in the roadway, much like a balloon popping. The second type of pothole-related blowout is less predictable. Sometimes, hitting a pothole or running over an object in the road will damage and weaken a tire, but it won’t blow out immediately. Instead, the tire may later fail unexpectedly, when the car is traveling at a high rate of speed and the tire heats up.
If you’ve hit a pothole, curb, or another object, it is important to inspect your tire or have it professional inspected to ensure that it remains in good working order. Don’t assume that because the tire survives the bump, there is no damage and it is safe to continue to use.
It is extremely difficult due to Sovereign Immunity in Texas, to hold the municipal body responsible for road maintenance liable for accidents caused by pothole-related blowouts. However, a driver who negligently fails to inspect his or her tires after hitting a pothole and experiences a blowout later may be liable for the accident.
Getting Help After a Tire Blowout Accident
Of course, any time you are in a car accident, due to a tire blowout or another cause, your first step should be to seek any necessary medical evaluation and care. Once you have taken steps to protect your health and secure your vehicle, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your rights.
If you’ve been injured because a tire was defectively designed or manufactured, because another driver failed to maintain his tires responsibly, or because the city neglected to keep the roadways in good repair, you may be entitled to compensation. Damages in a tire blowout case can help you to pay medical bills, make up for lost work time, and repair or replace your damaged vehicle.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Legal Options
The attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, PC are here to help. If you’ve been injured as the result of a tire blowout or other type of automobile accident, you can take the first step toward securing fair compensation right now. Just fill out the form at the bottom of this page or call (800) 298-0111 to schedule a free consultation.