A blown tire is an expensive headache. The loss of a tire means the cost of replacing it and repairing whatever damage the vehicle sustained in the ensuing auto accident. Furthermore, tires are not simply large, decorative rubber doughnuts; they keep the car centered and balanced; and when they go out, the consequences may be as dangerous as they are costly and annoying. In fact, recent statistics from Michelin attribute 23,000 auto accidents and 535 deaths per year to accidents caused by tire blowouts. While it isn’t a shocking suggestion that tire blowouts could cause such mayhem, it is somewhat disturbing that they happen so often. This could be, in part, because people don’t take care of their tires—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 27% of passenger vehicles have at least one underinflated tire. However, poorly designed/manufactured tires and unsafe driving conditions may also come into play.
In such cases, it can be very difficult to assign fault and even more difficult to claim compensation from the party responsible when injury follows the auto accident. Consultation with a personal injury attorney may be the only way to know what course to follow. Therefore, while not all accidents are preventable, it’s best to take precautions against the following risks:
Running over a pothole is a splendid way to do a number on your tires in one fell stroke. The sudden redistribution of weight and the difficulty of pulling the swallowed tire back into the air have tremendous potential to throw off the alignment of the vehicle at least, and to pop the tire at most. Hopefully, the city you live in and/or its construction contractors don’t leave potholes lying open for unsuspecting drivers to find moments before they go careening off the road. Just to be safe, be watchful of this hazard.
Lacerated tires are a less frequent cause of tire blowouts, simply because people tend not to leave their machetes turned blade-up in the middle of the road. However, larger objects that have been dropped or discarded through car windows or debris from poorly-maintained roads can create large tears in a tire and cause a blowout. Exercise particular caution when driving through low-traffic roads.
Punctures commonly occur when hitting a curb. A puncture will not immediately cause an auto accident, but will cause the tire to release air more rapidly. The decrease in air pressure within the tire makes it more susceptible to a blowout later on. To catch punctures early on, monitor tire pressure often.
This is not a problem most passenger vehicles are likely to encounter at any point, since it takes a comical amount of overload to cause a tire to give out. Yet, it happens, and drivers should be aware of the risk: Under no circumstances should you burden your vehicle with enough cargo to significantly affect air pressure of the tires.
An underinflated tire may result from a puncture or from normal wear and tear over time. Since it is sufficient air pressure that allows tires to support the car’s weight, care should be taken to keep tires inflated—or to replace them in the event that they go bald.
6. Tread separation
Tread separation, like overloading, is far more common in large trucks than in passenger vehicles, but it does happen. The tread begins to separate from the tire when it has been improperly attached, sometimes because of a manufacturer’s defect. This sort of problem is easy to spot with even cursory inspection.
Regardless of the upkeep of a vehicle, tire blowout is subject to external factors and cannot, therefore, be prevented with absolute certitude. Luckily, many personal injury attorneys give free initial consultations to determine whether their services would be worth your time. (Naturally, if a case is not viable or not likely to win a substantial amount of money, it is outside the interest of a personal injury attorney to mislead the prospective client.) To request free advice from accomplished personal injury attorneys in the Salt Lake City area, turn first to Christensen & Hymas. No one has a more sterling reputation for serving the people of Utah than their Draper-based firm. To request one of their free booklets on auto accident claims, call 1-800-LAW-BOOK, or (801) 506-0800 for a consultation.