According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an alarming 70 percent of people do not regularly check their tires. When people fail to properly maintain their tires, the consequences can be catastrophic. Each year there are approximately 11,000 motor vehicle accidents due to flat tires, blowouts, and poor treading. In Texas alone, there were 56 people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a blowout or flat tire between 2010 and 2014.
Keeping your tires in good condition is incredibly important for your safety and other drivers on the road. An NHTSA study found that there was a tire-related issue before an accident occurred in 9 percent of all crashes. Some of the most common causes of tire failures include tread separations, blowouts, underinflation, and bald tires. Proper pressure, in particular, is considered one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of tire failure.
Dangers of Tire Blowouts
For Texans, the combination of scorching temperatures, hot roadways, and high speeds can increase the likelihood of blowouts. The tire-blowout season is considered to be the period from the middle of May through early October. Blowouts, which involve the sudden loss of tire pressure, are extremely dangerous because the driver loses the ability to safely maneuver the vehicle, making the window for avoiding an accident extremely narrow.
If the driver is on a wet road at the time of a blowout, or is inexperienced, a crash may be unavoidable. Tire blowouts can also cause drivers to overcorrect, which can lead to rollover accidents. In the event of a tire blowout, the Texas Department of Transportation recommends that drivers:
- Avoid hitting the breaks suddenly
- Take your foot off the gas and gently apply the breaks
- Steer straight ahead to a stop
Tire Blowout Accidents Involving Large Trucks
Tire blowouts can happen to anyone, but they are especially disastrous when they involve big rigs or 18-wheelers. In 2013, 52 people died in truck tire-related accidents. Large commercial trucks carry extra-heavy loads and spend more time driving at highway speeds, which can put them at a higher risk for blowouts. The likelihood that a tractor-trailer will experience a blowout increases when they exceed 75 mph, which is the maximum sustained speed for most truck tires.
Common Causes of Tire Blowouts
As tires age, they become more susceptible to failure including blowouts. The majority of tire blowouts can be prevented with regular tire maintenance. Some of the most common causes are:
- Defects in the tire
- Inadequate tread depth
- Underinflated tires cause increased stress on tire components and heat buildup
- Tire pressure below the recommended pressure
- Pre-existing tire damage (e.g. nail, hitting a curb)
- Extremely hot temperatures accelerate tire degradation and loss of tire pressure
- Poor road conditions (e.g. potholes)
- Overloading a vehicle
- Poorly maintained tires
- Adverse weather conditions (e.g. wet or slick roads)
How a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 27 years of experience helping people injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. Our compassionate team of attorneys can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses while you focus on recovery. We fight for the maximum compensation available in every case and will be by your side through every step of the legal process.
Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to receive a free consultation and learn how we can put our significant experience to work for you.