Tire blowouts can happen for many different reasons, and the reason behind the tire blowout will determine who is liable. If your tire bursts because your tire pressure was incorrect or your tires were old, you may be the one responsible, but if your tires are defective, the manufacturer may be liable. Sometimes, tire shops also sell tires that are past their expiration date.
The same principles are true if someone else’s tire blows out and causes a car accident. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit after a tire blowout leads to an accident, determining liability will be the key to winning your case.
What Causes Tire Blowouts?
According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, “the vast majority of blowouts are caused by improper tire pressure.” Low tire pressure or overinflated tires can lead to tire blowouts, as can old, worn tires with cracks and worn-down tread.
Keep an eye on your tire pressure, and always check your tires before a long trip. If your tires don’t pass the penny test, replace them. You should also replace your tires every 6 years — even if there’s plenty of tread left.
Another common cause of tire blowouts is defective tires. Poor manufacturing can lead to tread separation, and some manufacturers sell tires that have sat in warehouses for far too long. Over time, even the highest-quality rubber can wear down, so you may unknowingly equip your car with an old, defective tire that appears brand-new.
Each tire has an identification number on the sidewall, but you may not know if a defect is present or a recall is underway unless your register your tires with the companies you purchased them from. Manufacturers sometimes get away with defects because most consumers do not register their tires.
Tire installation and repairs can also lead to defective tires. If you get a nail in your tire, for example, your local tire shop might provide a patch that does not hold up on the open road, or the tire shop might install a new tire incorrectly.
Drivers may be responsible for tire blowouts, but manufacturers and mechanics may have to accept liability in some situations, as well.
What To Do If You Have a Tire Blowout
If you experience a tire blowout, stay calm. Keep driving straight and do not step on the brakes. Your vehicle may wobble slightly or pull to one side, but the best thing you can do is maintain your forward momentum and keep the steering wheel as straight as possible. Once you have regained control, allow the car to slow itself and put your hazard lights on. You should only use the brakes when your speed drops below 30 mph. Steer towards the right-hand lane and pull into the shoulder or away from traffic when it is safe to do so.
You can change your tire yourself if you know how to so safely and have enough room, or you can call a towing or roadside assistance company for help.
Tire blowouts can destabilize your vehicle, especially at high speeds, which can lead to rollovers and other serious accidents. If your tire blowout causes a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle car accident, call 911, seek medical attention if you need it, and gather as much information as you can at the scene.
How To Deal With the Aftermath of a Tire Blowout
When tire blowouts cause accidents, the aftermath can be overwhelming. If your tire blew out, and you caused an accident as a result, your liability insurance should pay for property damage and injuries. At first glance, insurance companies will determine the accident is your fault because your tire blew out.
Of course, not all tire blowouts are your fault. For this reason, you may need to hire an attorney. At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, we will investigate your accident and help determine what went wrong. If the condition of your tire suggests a defect, we will do everything we can to hold the tire manufacturer liable.
Call us at (866) 675-4427 or contact us online to discuss your situation today — we offer free consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.