Can Unsafe Tires Cause Car Accidents?
Yes — and if you suspect that faulty tires contributed to your accident, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
How Often Are Faulty Tires The Cause Of An Accident?
According to a Special Investigation Report made by Rafael Marshall, Ph.D. to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately 500 people die in tire-related passenger vehicle crashes each year, and 19,000 people are injured.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also did research in 2015 suggesting that faulty tires may be involved in as many as 40,000 accidents each year.
Whatever the number may be, tires that fail and cause accidents are usually preventable accidents because most of the time, tires fail because of improper maintenance.
What Are The Signs Of Improper Maintenance And Use?
How often do you replace your tires? Most drivers know that properly inflated tires are important, and that worn-out and bald tires — or tires that are overinflated or under-inflated — can affect driving performance, safety, and even cause tire blowouts.
How can you identify worn tires? The visual signs to look for that show a tire might be dangerous are, most obviously, balding areas and shallow tread, visible and fractured wires in the outer belt, and cracking of the sidewall.
How can you tell if a tire’s tread is inadequate and unsafe? The simplest way is the penny test. Take a penny and place it between the tire treads with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, your tire needs to be replaced.
While tire pressure monitoring systems have improved safety, all drivers should still check their tires regularly to maintain proper air pressure and to look for signs of wear or damage. Your life and the lives of others depend on it.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides useful information about tire safety, and how to avoid bad tires when purchasing new or secondhand.
Other Reasons Tires Can Fail
Dry rot is also a condition that can happen when tires sit for long periods of time — like the tires on a vehicle stored in a storage locker, warehouse or barn. The rubber can become brittle, and subject to cracking, even though it appears that the tire tread is adequate.
Sometimes some other mechanical problems, the vehicle’s alignment or suspension, can adversely affect tire performance and wear, and sometimes lead to tire failure.
Retread tires can suddenly peel off at high speeds, creating hazardous conditions for the driver of that vehicle, as well as any vehicle in the vicinity of those flying ribbons of rubber.
In the same report to the NTSB, Dr. Marshall pointed out of the millions of people notified tire recalls, only 20% actually brought them in for exchange or repair. An additional 24% of recalled tires were identified and dealt with when the vehicle was serviced for another reason.
This means that over 50% of the tires that were found by tire manufacturers to be defective, remained in use. We can assume that at least some of these defective tires eventually fail and cause accidents.
Have You Been Injured In An Auto Accident?
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident — and suspect that faulty tires on the at-fault vehicle may be the cause — you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Even though Michigan is a no-fault state, and your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is covering your medical bills and lost wages right now, there are limits to this coverage.
If your injuries are serious, will you be able to return to the same job when you recover? Are you facing permanent disability and/or disfigurement? How has this injury changed your life? Can you receive compensation for your nonmedical losses (i.e. pain and suffering)?
A car accident lawyer from Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. will be glad to meet with you at our law offices — or in your home or some other location that is comfortable for you, including your hospital room — to learn more about your situation, and make recommendations. After this free consultation, if we decide to work together, it will be a contingency fee agreement, which means we don’t get paid until you get your settlement or jury award.
Contact us toll-free anytime at (866)-755-9502 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.