Recently, a family returning home to New York City from Disney World in Florida experienced a disastrous car crash, killing three generations of their family. The driver, her mother and the driver’s grandmother were all killed when a tire blew out on their Ford Expedition. Five other family members in the car were rushed to a nearby hospital.
While it’s too early in the investigation to tell if the tire malfunction was due to a manufacturing defect or maintenance, whatever the cause was will do little to ease the pain of this family’s loss.
Tips on Tire Safety
Unless tires look low on air they are easy to ignore. However, even normal wear and tear can make them more susceptible to catastrophic failure like a blowout. Also, manufacturing defects can cause dramatic failures in tires that look perfectly normal.
Tire traction depends on proper inflation levels, as specified on the sidewall of the tire or the vehicle’s user manual. Remember that inflation levels depend on the weight of the vehicle and should be adjusted accordingly – especially on a long road trip like the one this family was taking when their tire failed. Also, tires have what’s called a wear bar running perpendicular to the direction of tire travel. When the tread is worn down to level with these wear bars, it is time to replace them. Cracks in the rubber, missing tread or rips and tears caused by rough roads can also severely limit the life of a tire.
A tire with a manufacturing defect may appear to be normal, however during the manufacturing process an improper mix of rubber and water can be the cause of problems. During longer trips or high speeds, water in the tires can boil, causing the tread to separate and a blowout. Tests after an accident can determine if the tire was defective. If you are in an accident and your tire is damaged, save it for testing.
This short video teaches you how to handle a tire blowout, should one occur while you are driving.
If you have been in a car crash and believe your tires may have been at fault, please contact us. Our experienced attorneys offer a free consultation to assess the crash, your tires and your story. You may be entitled to compensation, and our attorneys will help you determine the best course of action for your case.