Automobile Wrecks Caused by Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are a major cause of car accidents in the United States every year and cause thousands of injuries and deaths.
In fact, as recently as 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was reporting that there were almost 80,000 accidents caused by under-inflation and blowouts annually.
While these figures are expected to drop due to more modern car safety equipment such as automatic pressure monitoring and run-flat tires, this will continue to be a hazard on the roads.
Drive down any freeway in Houston and you can see tires that have blown out and peeled off trucks. Trucks have extra tires in the back and on the trailer.
Blowouts on front tires and cars usually result in a crash. Car accident lawyers representing injured victims following a blowout must be able to determine the exact cause to determine liability for the crash.
Who is Responsible for a Tire Blowout Accident in Texas?
While blowouts can cause serious car accidents, establishing the liability and responsibility for the crash depends upon the cause of the blowout itself. There can be many causes of a tire blowout including:
- A road hazard such as a pothole or something blown into the lane of traffic. Generally, if the cause of the blowout and resulting accident is unavoidable, the driver of the car will not be liable for an accident caused by a tire blowout.
- Over-inflation or Under-inflation. This is a major cause of blowouts and car accidents. Responsibility for this rests with the driver of the vehicle and the owner that allows the car or truck on the road. As reasonably responsible drivers, we are all duty-bound to make sure that our vehicle is safe to go on the road. Furthermore, in the case of a commercial vehicle or truck, the company that owns it and the company that has serviced the truck could be held responsible if they were negligent in servicing the tire or by not properly maintaining it with the right pressure inflation.
- Worn out or “bald” tires. A common cause of blowouts and accidents in Houston is using a tire on a car or truck long after it has worn out or become unsafe. Drivers and owners are required to make sure all tires on their vehicle are safe. If they drive on a bald tire which causes an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries they have caused by being careless.
- Improperly installed tires. Tires which were not installed properly or are of the wrong size can deteriorate and explode or blowout and cause and accident. The tire store or place that installed them can be responsible for the blowout and accident.
- Defective Tires. Defectively manufactured tires blowout and cause thousands of serious accidents. In this case both the seller and manufacturer of the tires can be held responsible to all the victims of the resulting accident.
Proving Liability after a Crash Involving a Blowout
An experienced car collision lawyer investigating the cause of a car accident following a tire blowout can, depending upon the circumstances, take the following actions:
- Obtain the remnants of the tire for expert examination. A properly trained expert can often determine whether the tire had been run while over or under inflated and can evaluate the age and tread wear to opine whether the tire was too used to be safely on the road or even if the tire was defectively manufactured.
- Seek out and get maintenance records. Records of tire maintenance can be available for personal cars and must be maintained for commercial trucks. These records can show how and when tires were replaced or serviced.
- Find purchase records. Tire purchase records are often kept in the glove box of private cars and in the corporate records for commercial vehicles and trucks. These records contain purchase dates and mileage for the time the tires were bought.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident resulting from a tire blowout, contact Board Certified injury lawyer Michael P. Fleming today for a free consultation.