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What is Tire Tread Separation?

Written by™ on behalf of Glenn A. Perry with Sloan Firm.

What is Tire Tread Separation?

Tire tread separation occurs when the belts underneath a tire’s tread separate from the casing or body of the tire. Tread separation can result in severely dangerous accidents and tire blow-outs which can cause a driver to lose control. Old or overused tires, reckless driving, potholes, and poor tire repairs can all cause tire tread separation to occur. This is why it is important to have the tires on your car regularly inspected, repaired, and replaced as recommended by a professional. Not only is tire tread separation dangerous for the owner of the tires, but it can result in unsafe situations for others on the road as well. For example, rubber debris from blown tires is a common sight on the road, and when hit by another vehicle or motorcycle can cause loss of control and dangerous accidents. If your vehicle has recently undergone any kind of trauma, such as hitting a curb or pothole, have your tire checked for safety and proper repairs.

Generally speaking, one of four entities may be responsible for allowing tire tread separation to occur, including:

  • Trucking/driving company: When a trucking company or driving company fails to properly assess the viability of their tires, they could be responsible for any situation arising from tire tread separation. This often includes knowingly using tires that are too old, retreaded too many times, or improperly repaired.
  • Driver: If tire tread separation occurred or was not identified due to negligence on the part of the driver, the driver could be responsible for damages. In the case of commercial drivers, this often includes failing to identify and address issues in tread, inflation, or wear on the tires.
  • Repair facility: If a repair facility failed to repair or improperly repaired a tire in need of retreading or another service to make it safe to drive on, the facility could be held liable for damages.
  • The manufacturer: In some cases, the manufacturer could be held liable for tire tread separation if it occurred as a result of defects or negligence in the manufacturing of the tire.

It’s a good idea to contact an attorney after an accident involving tread separation.

After an accident involving tire tread separation, it’s important to seek legal counsel from a trained professional. The first thing an attorney will do in one of these situations is to look at the tires themselves, call on their network of experts to analyze what caused the tread separation, and figure out who is liable for the resulting damages. While hiring an attorney might at first seem out of reach for many people, it may help to note that the majority of these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they don’t get paid unless and until they are able to recover some compensation for you. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney what they charge; a reputable attorney will be communicative and straightforward regarding what kind of contingency fee they charge and what exactly they can do to help make your claim as effective as possible. Damages incurred in an accident involving tire tread separation can be severe and compounding. If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle accident due to tire tread separation, seek legal counsel to learn what kind of compensation you might be eligible for.


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