Driving along a highway, the last thing you want to experience is a tire blowout. It can be a scary ordeal, often resulting in the loss of vehicle control and potentially leading to an accident. But what causes these blowouts, and how can they be prevented?
What Causes Tire Blowouts?
A tire blowout is a rapid loss of inflation pressure that can cause the tire to explode. This sudden deflation can lead to losing control of your vehicle, especially when driving at high speeds.
Tire blowouts can generally be categorized under two causes: manufacturer defects and user errors. Sometimes, the fault lies with the manufacturer. Production defects can lead to weak spots in the tire, causing it to fail under normal operating conditions. These defects can include compromised rubber quality, improper curing, or structural issues with the tire's internal components.
Often, the cause of tire blowouts is attributed to the vehicle owner's neglect or misuse. This can include overloading the vehicle, driving on underinflated or overinflated tires, or ignoring tire damage or wear.
Practical Tips for Routine Tire Maintenance
To prevent tire blowouts, regular maintenance is key. Here are some practical tips:
- Regularly check your tire pressure. Underinflation and overinflation both increase the risk of a blowout. Regularly check your tire pressure, especially during temperature changes.
- Rotate your tires. Regular tire rotation ensures even wear and prolongs the life of your tires.
- Inspect your tires regularly. Look for signs of damage, such as cuts, cracks, or bulges. Also, monitor tread depth to ensure it's within safe limits.
- Avoid overloading. Always adhere to your vehicle’s load capacity to avoid putting extra pressure on your tires.
- Drive safely. Avoid hitting potholes or objects in the road that can damage your tires.
Here’s What to Do When a Tire Blowout Occurs
If you're driving and experience a tire blowout, don't panic! Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do when a tire blowout occurs:
- Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Do not let the vehicle veer off its path.
- Do not slam on the brakes. This could cause your car to spin out of control. Instead, allow the car to slow down naturally.
- Turn on your hazard lights. This alerts other drivers to your situation and encourages them to give you space.
- Signal your intention to move to the roadside by using your turn signal. You should try to navigate to safety, if possible, while maintaining a gradual speed. Be mindful of traffic and choose a flat spot as far from traffic as possible.
- Once you’re safe, call for roadside assistance. If you're equipped and feel safe doing so, you may change the tire yourself.
- Stay in your vehicle. While waiting for help, if you're on a busy highway or if it's nighttime, it is best that you wait inside your vehicle.
Seeking Compensation If Your Accident Was Caused by a Tire Blowout
Should you be able to provide substantial evidence that a tire defect was the catalyst for your accident, you might be eligible to file a product liability claim. Potential compensation could encompass expenses related to medical care, vehicular damage, earnings lost due to inability to work, and for physical discomfort and emotional distress endured.
When faced with a tire blowout due to manufacturer defects, remember the following:
- Preserve the tire. The blown-out tire is your primary piece of evidence. Store it safely and avoid tampering with it.
- Document the incident. Collect as much information as possible about the incident. This includes photographs of the blown-out tire, the accident scene, and any injuries sustained. Also, keep a record of the purchase details of the tires.
- Report the incident. Notify the manufacturer and your insurer about the accident. This not only makes them aware of a possible defect in their product but also officially documents your claim.
- Consult an attorney. Legal proceedings can be complex, so consulting with an attorney who handles product liability cases is crucial. They can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.
Speak with Our Experienced Attorneys
At Zayas Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys are backed by over 50 years of collective experience. Should you or a loved one be injured due to a defective product or in a negligence-related car accident, our team is here and ready to help you understand your legal rights and options.
Schedule an initial consultation today by calling (860) 854-9156.