Tire Defects

Tire defects are the leading cause of car accidents when the actual cause of the car accident stems from the vehicle itself. Tire defects can cause property damage, increase insurance rates, and injure or even kill drivers and passengers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that tire defects are responsible for an average of 11,000 car accidents and nearly 200 deaths in the United States each year.

Types of Tire Failure

Several defects can lead to malfunctions on the road. Tires are a critical component of vehicle operation, which means that even a minor issue can have a catastrophic impact. 

Common types of tire failure can include punctures, cuts, impacts, cracks, bulges, and irregular wear. Drivers should be aware of the potential dangers that exist if these issues are left unaddressed.

Tire on a black shiny car in a sunny neighborhood

Can New Tires Be Defective?

While it is rare, new tires can be defective. Sometimes, new tires are out of round directly from the manufacturer. When a tire is out of round, it’s impossible to balance properly. More often than not, the professional who installs new tires can identify if they are working with a defective or out-of-round tire, but it’s not entirely avoidable. Drivers operating a vehicle with a defective or out-of-round tire will feel a strange vibration while driving. If the tire technician tries to balance the tires and the vibration persists, a tire defect is most likely the root cause even though the tire is brand new. Drivers should look at the warranty to see if a replacement is available.

How to Tell if a Tire Is Defective

While not all types of tire failure are visible to every motorist, drivers can take small safety precautions to check their tires. Drivers should take notice of early signs that the tire is well on its way to failure. Periodic checks, that only take a moment or two, may prevent some accidents. 

Here are some easy ways to visually inspect tires:

  • Look for any cracking or cuts in the sidewalls of the tires.
  • Check to see if the tires have uneven tread wear. Improper inflation, misaligned wheels, damaged tires, or suspension issues can all cause uneven tread wear. 
  • See if any of the treads are excessively worn. More modern tires have a tread-wear indicator across the top of the tread that displays the minimum allowable tread depth of 2/32 inches. If the tread ever wears down to these bars, new tires are needed. You can also purchase cheap tread-wear gauges or try the quarter or penny treadwear trick. For this trick, place the coin into the tire groove facing down. If you can see the top of President Washington’s head, the tread is worn and you need a replacement.
  • Spot bulges or blisters. If you see a bulge or blister on the sidewall of your tire, you need to replace the tire immediately. These spots typically indicate a weak spot in the tire and can lead to tire failure.
  • Check for vibration while driving. Vibration typically means that a tire is misaligned, unbalanced, or even bent. This vibration could mean the inside of the tire is damaged or has a suspension issue.

These routine tire checks are a valuable use of time as they can keep you, your passengers, and others on the road safe.

Three shelves with rows of tires with tags

Defective Tire Accidents

In early May of 2022, videos surfaced of Dunlop Tires tires exploding when drivers reached a particular speed. A driver in Cedar City, Utah became the victim of a rollover crash when his tire blew while traveling on Interstate 15. The cause of the accident was cited as “equipment failure” as the driver was not exhibiting any risky behavior and there were no items on the roadway that would have caused a blowout upon impact. These are just a few recent examples where tire defects have had dangerous consequences for motorists. Motorists should know how to respond in the event of one of these types of collisions. Cue a defective tire attorney.

Defective Tire Attorney

If you suspect a tire defect was the root cause of an accident, hiring a defective tire attorney will be critical during the claims process. A defective tire attorney can help identify if a defective tire is to blame in a car accident. Any time a motorist makes a vehicle claim like this, they encounter a host of red tape. A defective tire attorney will know the ins and outs of obtaining this information and assist you as you move through the process of obtaining the appropriate compensation. The team of experienced lawyers at Sandoval and James are dedicated to ensure that anyone hurt or injured due to a defective tire receives the best possible compensation. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to review your case. Consultations are completely free.

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