As summer approaches and the temperatures rise, most of us are looking forward to baseball, bike rides, and barbecues. But with this warm weather comes another common summer event that most of us would rather avoid: tire blowouts.
Tire blowouts are a frequent occurrence on Alabama highways and can lead to more than just a frightening and inconvenient roadside stop. In some cases, these blowouts can cause a vehicle to lose control and either roll over or collide with other cars sharing the road, leading to severe injuries such as concussion, amputation, and even death.
Please keep reading to learn about the main causes of tire blowouts, steps to avoid these malfunctions, and what to do if you’ve been injured in a tire blowout accident due to a faulty tire.
What Causes Tire Blowouts?
According to Popular Mechanics, national tire blowout season runs from mid-May through early October. In Alabama, however, our season starts a little earlier and ends a little later due to the intense heat we experience during the summer. However, a tire blowout can occur at any time of the year depending on the health of the tire, vehicle upkeep, and other circumstances.
There are four simple reasons why summer is unofficially known as tire blowout season:
- There are more drivers on the road.
- People are driving longer distances.
- Their vehicles are often heavily loaded with passengers and luggage.
- Warmer temperatures lead to piping hot pavement.
In most cases, the heat of the road surface alone doesn’t cause tire blowouts. But when that heat combines with a faulty tire, an overloaded vehicle, or reckless driving, the chances of a blowout increase significantly.
RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters and How to Handle Them
Tire Tread Separation Can Lead to Blowouts
The most common user errors leading to tire blowouts include punctures, low pressure, hitting a curb or pothole, and using a tire beyond its rated life. Design defects, manufacturer errors, and improper installation can also lead to tire blowouts. However, the most common reason for a defective tire blowout is tread separation.
Tire tread separation usually occurs when a metal belt fails to bond with rubber in the tire, and this is a defect the tire manufacturer is responsible for. Errors in the tread bonding process can result in separation, for example:
- Materials contaminated with rust, moisture, oxidation, grease, sawdust, gum wrappers, or cigarette butts
- The use of outdated bonding ingredients
- Sub-optimal temperatures
- Improperly sized parts
No matter what the cause, tread separation resulting from the negligence of the manufacturer can be catastrophic. For example, if the defective tire causes a rollover crash, victims frequently suffer head trauma, spine and spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.
“But when that heat combines with a faulty tire, an overloaded vehicle, or reckless driving, the chances of a blowout increase significantly.”
If you have been injured or suffered property damage in a car accident in Alabama as a result of a faulty tire blowing out, you should contact a skilled and experienced Alabama injury attorney immediately.
It’s also important that you act quickly to preserve the defective tire. If your vehicle experiences a blowout, do not throw the damaged tire away.
RELATED EBOOK: Everything You Need to Know About Alabama Car Accidents
How to Avoid Tire Blowouts
While there isn’t much consumers can do if they’ve been sold a defective tire or had a tire improperly installed, there are measures you can take to cut down on the likelihood of a tire blowout from user error.
Along with tire defects, underinflation is one of the most common causes of tire blowout. When tires don’t have enough air in them, their essential components are stretched to the limit and can fail violently.
Thankfully, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now standard on all passenger vehicles, but these systems usually aren’t designed to notify the driver until the tire is nearing its minimum pressure. Unfortunately, these systems can also malfunction over time, leaving the driver unaware of their low tire pressure. Therefore, you should regularly check your tire pressure and whenever you’ll be driving long distances.
Trucks and SUVs are designed to fit more passengers and cargo than other vehicles, but all that weight can lead to tire blowouts. Further, since these vehicles are usually taller and have a boxier design than standard cars, they’re also more likely to roll over during a tire blowout crash.
To avoid exceeding the weight limit of your vehicle, you should check your automobile’s gross vehicular weight rating, which should be on the same page or placard as your recommended tire pressure. If you must carry an especially heavy load, increase your pressure to the “maximum load” number listed on your tires’ sidewalls.
You can help prolong the life and health of your tires by being a little more cautious behind the wheel. Always follow the speed limit and feel free to drive a few miles per hour below the speed limit on the highway (you’ll get there soon enough). You should also take turns slowly to avoid unnecessarily pushing your tires to the brink of their capability.
Most importantly, be on the lookout for potholes, curbs, and debris in the road. Impacts with unforgiving structures and objects can lead to severe damage that could either cause the tire to burst or slowly wear away at the tire, leading to a blowout.
By following these simple tips, you can reduce the risk of a tire blowout. However, tire designers, manufacturers, and installers commonly make errors that can place matters outside of even the most responsible driver’s control.
In these cases, you’ll need an experienced and aggressive injury lawyer who understands how to investigate defective product claims and hold companies accountable for their acts. This may involve consulting with engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and other specialists.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Guiding Victims Through Tire Blowout Injury Claims
If you or a loved one has been injured during a tire blowout, or any other motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible for compensation under Alabama law.
The attorneys and legal staff at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys have years of experience helping car accident victims receive the justice they deserve and are willing to go the extra mile for all of our clients. We understand the pain and stress of recovering from car accident injuries, which is why we are dedicated to providing honest, skillful legal representation. Our goal is to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable and make Alabama’s roads even safer.
To ensure affordable representation, we operate on a contingent fee basis. If you choose to hire our attorneys, there is never any cost to you until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Demere, M. (2013, August 21). Why blowouts happen — and how to avoid them. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved from https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a9399/why-blowouts-happen-and-how-to-avoid-them