Tire Problems Cause Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. Tire health is an important part of preventing accidents. All too often drivers neglect problems associated with worn or underinflated tires, leading to tire failure. It is vital to know what to look for to keep yourself and your family safe.
Tires should be maintained in optimal condition to avoid accidents and aid in fuel consumption. Many vehicles have tires that are under or overinflated or lack proper tread depth. For example, tires that are underinflated can experience excessive heat generation, causing wear and terminating in a blowout. This adds to the probability that an accident will happen. According to one National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 78,392 accidents, 10,275 injuries and 414 fatalities occurred each year prior to vehicles that were manufactured with systems to monitor tire pressure.
Tire Problems and Crash Avoidance
On the roadway, if a vehicle experiences a tire-related issue such as a blowout due to low tire tread or if the tire is defective, the driver’s ability to avoid a crash is limited. For example, a vehicle with low tire tread traveling on a wet, congested roadway would have little chance of avoiding a crash, particularly with tire failure at highway speeds.
Tire Problems Associated With Accidents
The tire problems commonly considered to have a pre-crash role are:
- Tire pressure: Tire pressure that is too high or too low
- Tire damage: Damage to a tire such as a flaw in its design or manufacture or post-manufacture damage
- Tire tread: Inadequate tire tread depth
- TPMS: Absence of a tire pressure monitoring system
Driver Impact on Crashes After Tire Problems
A driver’s impact on a crash associated with tire issues may be causative or reflect the driver’s experience. Such factors are:
- Familiarity with the vehicle: Driving a vehicle in the past gives the driver a heightened ability to control the vehicle
- Inexperienced driver: Younger or less experienced drivers greatly impact whether an accident will occur post-tire roadway problem
- Aggressive driver: Speeding, quick starts, shortstops and tailgating have an effect on tire condition and ability to control a vehicle
There are several environmental factors that are considered to be considered pre-crash factors. These are:
- Wet roads
- Potholes or other road defects
- Road deterioration
- Weather conditions such as icy roads in winter
One of the most significant factors associated with tire problems is maintenance of proper tire pressure. Underinflated tires that are 25 percent of the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure were responsible for crashes 10 percent of the time. Overinflation by 25 percent accounted for 7 percent of tire-related crashes.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, or TREAD Act, passed in the 1990s due to the Firestone tire recall, mandated that all light vehicles under 10,000 pounds have a tire pressure monitoring system installed. As of 2008 in this country, all passenger vehicles are outfitted with such a system. This system alerts a driver when even a small change in tire pressure occurs.
Tire Tread Deficiency
A proper tire tread increases the ability of a tire to grip the road. The NHTSA recommends that tires with a tread depth of 2/32 on an inch or lower be removed and replaced. In fact, under FMVSS 139, radial tires must have a indicator that make it possible for a car owner to easily determine an inadequate tire tread.
Tires with a tread depth less than 2/32 inches were involved in crashes 26.4 percent of the time. Alternately, tires with a tread depth of 3-4/32 inches to 7/32 inches were involved in crashes 8 percent of the time.
Fresno Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno car accident lawyer. An accident caused by inappropriately maintained tires can be devastating. If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another person or a family member has died, please call me, Ed Smith, at (559) 377-7676. My advice is friendly and free. Outside the area code, please dial (800) 404-5400.
For 35 years, I have helped numerous Northern California residents, including those who reside in Fresno and the surrounding area, as an injury lawyer, obtaining just compensation for their personal injuries and wrongful death.
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