The NHTSA reports there are 11,000 tire-related car accidents in the United States each year. The Safety Institute found there were 539 total deaths in 2013 related to tire-related problems.
While some of these accidents may be caused by aging tires and owner negligence, more of them are happening from tire failure related to defective tires for sale.
Faulty Tires – Ongoing Problem from Consumers and Manufacturers
It is more common today to see defective tire recalls, such as one by Goodyear recently that affected the tires on small SUVs. In that case, the recall was because of a defective tread which can lead to a blowout and possibly a roller. Unfortunately, there are more tire-related recalls coming every year.
Causes of Tire Failure
There are a variety of factors that can cause tire failure by consumers, during installation and manufacturing. Any tire defect can lead to a serious or fatal accident. Some of the reasons for tire failure not related to operator error include:
- Tread belt separation. This is the most common in steel belt radial tires. It happens when the steel outer belt edge is defective and eventually progresses to the center of the tire. In an SUV, this can cause a rollover accident.
- Installation errors. Can be due to poor lubrication, over inflation and improper mounting.
- Belt to belt separation. Can happen when moisture is introduced during tire manufacture.
What Happens When a Tire Fails?
If the tire has a flaw in the design or error in the manufacturing process, you can have a tire blow out that can cause a rear end crash, head on crash or rollover crash. Victims in these accidents can have broken bones, spinal cord injuries, head and neck injuries and even death. A personal injury attorney may assist you in filing a product defect lawsuit against the tire or vehicle manufacturer, or possibly the company that installed the tire.
What Happens to Crash Victims in Tire-Related Accidents?
Tire and auto manufacturers are required to report possible tire defects that affect safety to NHTSA. But accidents that lead to loss of control from blowout still happen too often.
In a car accident related to a tire defect, an attorney can assist you in filing a product liability claim. You could be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of the tire, the vehicle or both.
Also, if you are injured in a crash with a vehicle with old or bald tires, your personal injury attorney may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle. Our attorneys represented a plaintiff who was seriously injured in a truck crash where the vehicle had a tread separation at speed. But this was found to be due to improper vehicle maintenance. The case resulted in a jury verdict of $650,000. Improper tire maintenance is especially common with tractor trailer companies that want to cut down on tire expenses. This can lead to tragic truck accidents that ruin lives.