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A Common But Unexpected Cause of Car Accidents: Tires

| Category: Car Accidents | February 28, 2023

Tires are one of the most overlooked parts of the car, despite the fact that they are the point of contact between the car and the ground. But the tires on a car do so much more than roll – they play a vital role when it comes to braking, handling, and overall control. As a result, it is critical that every car be fitted with the right tires and that those tires be replaced when they are old and worn. When drivers fail to replace worn tires or put the wrong tires on the vehicle, the chances of an accident increase significantly. If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can investigate your case and identify whether tires may have been a factor or whether it was caused by something else. 

How Defective or Worn-Out Tires Can Cause Accidents

As mentioned above, tires play a significant role in the handling and control of the vehicle. Driving on defective or worn-out tires can lead to the following: 

  • Loss of control, especially in wet conditions, because the tires do not have sufficient grip. This can result in the car going off the road or rolling over. 
  • Braking accidents because the vehicle cannot stop in time due to a lack of traction. 
  • Blowouts when the tire suddenly fails, leading to a sudden loss of control, especially at high speeds.  

Negligent Maintenance

Many drivers are unaware of the fact that they have a legal obligation to maintain their vehicles in roadworthy condition so that it is safe to drive on our roads and highways. Failure to maintain the vehicle or make timely repairs can lead to an untimely mechanical failure that results in a serious accident. This is obvious in the case of a brake failure or a sudden loss of steering, but it applies to other components of the vehicle such as the tires. As a result, vehicle owners can be held accountable when they are negligent in maintaining their vehicles. 

Tires come with mileage specifications, recommended pressure, wear indicators, and specifications as to vehicle type and conditions. Vehicle owners are required to be vigilant with these specifications when it comes to their tires. The following issues are common factors in car accidents: 

  • Underinflated tires
  • Overinflated tires
  • Worn tread
  • Improper tires for the vehicle
  • Improper tires for conditions
  • Damaged tires
  • Improperly mounted tires

Vehicle owners should have their tires professionally mounted with only those tire sizes and types that are recommended for their vehicle. They should also choose tires based on the type of conditions they expect to encounter – tires rated for all conditions will work best for most drivers, but drivers should also pay attention to the traction and wear rating to ensure that they are purchasing quality tires. 

Lastly, owners should promptly replace any tires that are worn out or show signs of damage. This includes tires that have not yet met their mileage specifications, as tires can sometimes wear prematurely. Owners should also be mindful that they may have to replace all four tires simultaneously even though fewer than all of them are worn out. 

Signs That Your Tires May Need to Be Replaced

Drivers should routinely inspect their tires to see if they need to be replaced. Some of the signs to look for include the following: 

  • Cracks or cuts in the sidewall
  • Bulges or blisters
  • Uneven tread wear
  • Vibration while driving
  • Excessive wear

Drivers should take their car to a professional mechanic if they spot any one of these issues. If your tires are under the mileage recommended for replacement, they may be covered by the warranty. 

Defective Tires

Tires can also be unsafe as a result of design or manufacturing defects. The most well-known instance of defective tires is probably the defective Firestone tires that were installed on light trucks made by the Ford Motor Company in the 1990s. The issue in that case was that the tread was separating from the steel belt underpinning the tire in high temperatures. Both Ford and Firestone pointed the finger at each other as to who was responsible for the defect, but ultimately, almost 300 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured as a result. 

Contact Car Accident Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles

With over 30 years of experience, we know how to handle car accident cases that were caused by tire issues. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve – call us today at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.