Tire blowouts are a driver’s worst fear, and for good reason. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, at least 33,000 accidents are caused by tire issues each year. That’s a startling statistic for a single element of your vehicle. While a tire blowout might seem like a far-off chance, they’re more common than you think. In fact, in an analysis by the National Automotive Sampling System-Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), one in every 270 accidents resulted from tire failure, leading to 200 deaths a year on average. In 2019 alone, 612 fatalities were reported as consequences of tire-related crashes (according to the NHTSA).
Knowing about tire blowouts, and how to protect yourself from tire-related accidents, is an important part of responsible driving.
What is a tire blowout?
Tire failure is a general term describing severe damage to a tire while on the road. This includes tread separation, flat tires due to a slow leak, etc. While any tire failure is risky, a tire blowout is generally feared by drivers the most.
A tire “blowout” is defined as:
“A rapid, explosive loss of inflation pressure of a pneumatic tire.”
In other words, when a tire bursts, or suddenly splits and deflates while in motion, it would be considered a tire blowout. This sudden loss of pressure, especially at high rates of speed, can be incredibly dangerous. Unlike a slow leak which tends to cause alignment issues, pulling, etc., a blowout comes with little or no warning.
Why are tire blowouts so dangerous for drivers (and everyone around them?)
When a tire blows out, the entire balance of a vehicle is suddenly thrown off. This often leads to a driver losing control of the car. With inexperienced drivers, overcorrection is a common mistake, leading to collisions, rolling a vehicle, and other serious accidents.
A tire blowout often affects drivers around the affected vehicle, as secondary collisions regularly happen following a tire blowout. Additional accidents can occur because of tire debris being thrown onto the road from the blown tire. At high rates of speed, even this seemingly small obstacle can cause another car to swerve, roll, or worse.
What causes tire failure?
Tire failures, specifically blowouts, typically happen due to a lack of maintenance. According to Consumer Reports, common warning signs that you might be headed toward tire failure include:
- cracking or cuts in your tire’s sidewalls
- uneven wearing of the treads
- excessive wear and tear on the tread (aka, “balding” tires)
- bulging or blistering on the sidewalls of the tires
- significant vibration while in motion (can also be a sign of misalignment or poorly balanced tires)
Can I prevent a tire blowout?
While there’s never a guarantee, you can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a tire blowout with regular vehicle maintenance and routine inspections. If you notice any of the warning signs in your tires, get your vehicle in to be serviced immediately. Skipping maintenance or ignoring car care is never worth the risk of harming yourself, or others.
In addition to service and maintenance, keeping your tires properly inflated is another way to reduce the risk of tire failure. Underinflated or overinflated tires wear unevenly, and this can lead to increased chances of a blowout. Check your tire’s pressure after any major temperature fluctuations, and adjust as needed. While many cars today have automated sensors that alert you to a difference in tire pressure, if you notice a tire looks low or seems off, it’s worth checking it yourself.
Another driver’s tire blowout caused my accident. What now?
Determining fault in an accident involving tire failure can be difficult. Questions include:
- When was the vehicle in question last serviced?
- Was the driver of an issue with the tire(s)?
- Were any vehicles speeding at the time of the accident?
These factors (and many, many more) impact the determination of fault in a tire blowout accident. If you were involved in an accident involving another car’s tire failure, getting in touch with an experienced accident attorney ASAP is key.
Brooks Law Group is here for accident victims.
If you or someone you love were injured following a tire blowout of another vehicle, the team at Brooks Law Group is here for you. We represent victims and their families following car accidents in and around the Tampa Bay area, providing compassionate care and aggressive advocacy on your behalf. We fight for the justice and compensation you deserve as you heal from your injuries and move forward with life. Our free consultations are a risk-free way to meet our qualified accident lawyers and discuss your case. If you choose us to represent you, you don’t pay unless we win! It’s another way you know we prioritize your best interest and put you first.
Tire blowouts happen. If you’re a victim of one of these accidents, rest assured you can Look to Brooks.