Drivers are at Risk from Malfunctioning Tires
Tire blowout injury is sustained when tire blowout causes the loss of vehicle control which makes vehicle rollover and collisions with other objects more likely. People are at a greater risk of tire blowout injury when traveling at higher speeds. Being in a less stable vehicle is also a major factor which contributes to tire blowout injury. SUVs are more likely to be involved in tire blowout accidents for several reasons. SUVs are narrower and taller than other passenger vehicles; therefore they are less stable on the road. When tire blowout does occur, SUVs are much more likely to rollover causing more serious tire blowout injury. SUVs are also more difficult to control after tire blowout which causes the risk of more serious accidents and tire blowout injury.
In 2000, national concern about tire blowout injury peaked as the Firestone-Ford scandal unfolded. Firestone radial tires on Ford Explorers were found to be especially prone to tread separation, which caused numerous cases of tire blowout injury and death. In August 2000, Firestone-Bridgestone recalled 6.5 million defective tires and in May 2001, Ford recalled 13 million defective tires from their vehicles. Consumer group research shows that tire blowout is not particularly unique to one type of tire or vehicle, meaning that other tires and vehicles may pose an equal threat on our roadways. There are several causes of tire blowout injury that are highly preventable. It is nearly impossible to create a tire that has absolutely no risk of causing tire blowout injury, but there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of tire blowout. The causes of tire blowout include road hazards, maintenance issues (such as under-inflation, overloading, tire mismatching, excessive wear, and inadequate inspections) and tire design or manufacturing defects.
Tire blowout injury is often due to negligence on behalf of tire manufacturers or tire repair and maintenance professionals. Tire blowout injury can be prevented if manufacturers are impelled to create a safer more robust tire design, improve overall vehicle design and control systems, and implement a more stringent production and inspection process. Improved tire design and more stringent tire repair and maintenance protocol for service professionals would reduce the likelihood of tire blowout injury.
Preventing Tire Failure
Tire failures can be prevented with proper maintenance, but in some cases tire failures are hard to detect because of a manufacturing or design flaw. By knowing what to look for, you may be able to prevent unnecessary injuries. Signs to be aware of include:
* Cracks in tire sidewalls
* Tire vibration, indicating a misalignment, etc.;
* Treads which are unevenly worn down (indicating improper inflation) or very worn down;
* Bulging sidewalls (indicating weakened areas).
Have You Been Injured by Faulty Tires?
If you have suffered injury due to faulty tires, blowouts, or related defects, you may wish to contact a qualified attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options. An experienced crashworthiness attorney will help you file your claim and get the monetary compensation you deserve.