Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts on our Florida roadways can be dangerous, causing serious and sometimes fatal accidents involving drivers and passengers of one or more vehicles on the road.  In fact, national studies indicate that nine percent of vehicle crashes are related to tire problems (tire blowouts, bald tires, tread separations, etc.)[1]

In 2000, after authorities found a link between vehicle accidents and Firestone tires that killed 46 people, Bridgestone Corporation was forced to recall 6.5 million of its Firestone-branded tires used in Ford vehicles.  Most of the Firestone tire-related accidents occurred in southern states including Florida, exposing a potential connection between heat and safe performance of the tires.

What causes tire blowouts?

Blowouts are caused by low tire pressure (under-inflated tires) that create added friction between the tires and the road.  The increased friction results in overheated tires which can lead to tread separation, excessive wearing down of tire treads, and tire blowouts.

How can you prevent a tire blowout?

As a driver, you have the responsibility to maintain your vehicle in good working condition.  Part of that duty includes monitoring tire pressure to ensure tires are properly inflated, not under-inflated nor over-inflated.  You should also check tires monthly to ensure tires are not cracked or losing tread.

If you find a tire defect, you should immediately fix the tire prior to driving on roadways.  A blowout resulting from a tire defect that you were aware of but didn’t fix could result in liability for you if your vehicle has a tire blowout that causes an accident.

Get in the habit of checking your tires regularly.

If you have a tire blowout, here’s what should you do?

If you are on the road and have a tire blowout, don’t panic!  Like handling a vehicle on icy roads, avoid breaking or steering the vehicle.  Instead, hold the steering wheel with both hands so that you can gently position the vehicle on the side of the road, away from other vehicles.  Never slam on the brakes after a tire blowout!  Slow the vehicle down gradually with natural deceleration.  Once the vehicle has completely stopped and you are in safe location, you should turn on the emergency light and change the tire.  If you are not in a safe position to do so, please call the highway patrol for assistance.

What else should I know?

The good news is that all passenger vehicles built during or after 2008 have TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System.)  TPMS is a key safety feature that alerts the driver when tires may be under-inflated, which leads to excessive wear and possible tire failure.  When the indicator light turns on, at least one of the tires is over 25% under-inflated.  If this happens, you should immediately inspect the tires and determine if the tire simply needs to be inflated or if the tire needs to be replaced.  Although a tire may have tread, the tire integrity can be compromised.  Visit a local professional to determine next steps for your vehicle.

In addition, here are a few more important points about tire safety:

  • Tires can age even when they are not driven because rubber breaks down over time. In fact, many tire manufacturers recommend replacing all tires every 6-10 years. Don’t forget that your spare tire ages too, even though it may not have been used! To determine the age of a tire, look at the tire identification number (TIN) on the side of the tire.
  • Don’t follow the inflation information on the tires. Instead, use the placard on the door edge on the driver’s side that provides tire inflation information.  For vehicles older than 2006, check for tire information in the glove compartment.
  • Tires are not safe when the tread is worn down to 2/32.
  • Avoid over-inflating tires. Over-inflation can cause the center to wear quickly and result in reduced traction and performance.
  • Tires can be punctured by hitting potholes or running over other objects. Check your tires right away if you believe you ran over or hit an object.
  • For more details about tire safety, review the NTHSA brochure titled, “Tire Safety – Everything Rides on it.”

Tires are the connection between a several ton vehicle and the road!  Take the time to understand what you need to know to be safe on the road with your tires.  NHTSA publishes additional information on vehicle and tire safety.  Visit www.safercar.gov/tire for more info!

If you have been in a vehicle accident involving a tire blowout, contact the renowned legal team at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. for professional legal guidance at (954) 428-9333.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] NHTSA www.safercar.gov/tire