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How Dangerous Are Defective Tires?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Timothy Tonkin with Phillips Law Group.

How Dangerous Are Defective Tires?
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Defective tires are one of the most common auto part dangers which can occur to any vehicle on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 15,000 car accidents each year are caused by issues with a vehicle’s tires—and that’s just in the United States. It’s important to be on the lookout for any signs which may indicate that a tire is defective or otherwise dangerous. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused or contributed to by potentially defective tires, reach out to a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Defective tires may be listed as recalled on SaferCar.gov.

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to check the current recall status of the tires on your vehicle. In some cases, a tire’s defects may have already been recognized and subject to recall. If this is the case, it is important to replace the tires as soon as possible to prevent an accident from occurring which could be catastrophic to you and others.

Tire tread separation is the most common failure of steel-belted tires.

Steel-belted tires are some of the most popular tires, but they carry the significant risk of tire tread separation. Tread separation occurs when the belts underneath a tire’s tread separate from the casing or body of the tire, causing a blow-out resulting in an extremely dangerous loss of control for the driver and anyone around them.

Not only is an actual blow-out extremely dangerous while driving, especially at high speeds, but the exploded rubber can also be a dangerous hazard in itself, acting as debris that could fly up and strike another vehicle or behave as a dangerous obstacle to those trying to avoid it on the road. Tire tread separation can occur for a variety of reasons, including driving on old tires, driving recklessly, hitting a pothole, or because a tire was defective. This is why it’s important to talk to a car accident attorney if you suspect defective tires caused or contributed to an accident.

Defective tires can be difficult to identify without the help of an expert.

Unfortunately, without an official recall, it can be extremely difficult to figure out whether or not a tire defect was responsible for your car accident. However, if there is any doubt, it’s important to contact a product liability attorney. These attorneys have access to expert resources who can recreate the accident and assess the impact the tires had on the overall damages. If contacting an attorney seems out of the question, it may help to note that the attorneys who handle these cases offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so clients do not have to pay unless they win their case.

Signs of a defective tire may include:

  • Uneven wear on the tire’s tread
  • Bald tires (i.e. the tread is completely worn away)
  • Visible bulging on any part of the tire
  • Cracks or splits in the sidewall of the tire
  • Tire pressure is consistently low or is frequently in need of refills
  • Vibrating/shaking can be felt while driving the vehicle

If you have noticed any of the above or other potential warning signs, it’s important to look into the potentially defective nature of your tires and have a mechanic look at the issue right away. In many cases, replacing old or defective tires is all it takes to make your vehicle safe again. Do not drive on defective tires or tires you suspect may be defective; doing so could result in extremely dangerous situations and even life-threatening injuries in case of an accident. To learn more about defective tires or for help investigating the tires in your accident, reach out to a car accident attorney.

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