Tire Defect Accident Lawyers
Highway travel is an uneventful part of daily life for many Americans so we may fail to appreciate the machinery that gets us around. The only part of a several-ton vehicle to touch the road while it is travelling at freeway speed is the tires. According to Safercar, tire failure causes almost 11,000 car accidents each year.
Poor product design, carelessness in manufacturing, and poor maintenance can all play a part in tire failures, leading to blowout accidents, delaminating, and detreading. Drivers can decrease the risk by staying up to date on basic tire maintenance including maintaining air pressure, having tires rotated, aligned, and balanced, and replacing any tires with worn out treads. However, there is far less that a consumer can do to prevent a tire manufacturer’s dangerous defect.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Long Island, New York the lawyers at Edelman Krasin & Jaye can help.
We have been fighting for the rights of New York car accident victims for more than half a century. We put our clients first and fight for maximum compensation because your success is our success.
What to do after a tire blowout accident
If you are involved in a tire blowout accident, the key is to think quickly but act calmly. The sudden explosion and loss of control that signal a tire failure can cause sudden panic but it is important to remain cool-headed.
After a tire blows out, you have a better chance of staying in control if you slowly release the gas pedal rather than hitting the brakes. Attempt to coast away from traffic, ideally to the shoulder, and turn on emergency flashers. As in other types of auto accidents, a vehicle parked near the road is a large target so stand away from the vehicle to avoid injury. If you change the tire yourself, do so carefully and do not discard the tire; it may be important evidence if there was a tire defect.
If more than one vehicle is involved in the accident, try to obtain the names and contact information of other involved vehicles or witnesses. Alert your insurance company of the accident but do not sign anything and be wary of speaking with another party’s insurance company without legal representation.
If there is a chance you may be injured, seek medical attention; pain from sudden injury often intensifies over the first couple days so something that is sore today may be throbbing in 48 hours.
Leading causes of tire failure
The most common tire defects are related to their construction. Tires are built in layers that include rubber and steel that are fused together in a vulcanization process using high heat and pressure.
Places where the manufacturing process can fail include:
- Poor workmanship
- Contaminants or moisture in the plant during the construction, which can interfere with adhesion between the layers
- Improper curing
- Using the wrong amount of solvents during manufacture, which can impair adhesion
- Bad or unsafe design
These and other defects can lead to:
- Delaminating and Detreading – the most common defects leading to a tire accident. When the layers become unbonded and the tread detaches, it may cause quick deflation and loss of control. In addition to manufacturing defects, this can occur because of over inflation or under inflation of tires, aging of the rubber, impacts that compromise the tire sidewall, or a poor repair job that allows internal rust to form on the tire’s steel cables.
- Blowouts – also known as sidewall failures, these can be caused by a manufacturing defect and are much more likely to occur when the tires are under inflated.
There is, unfortunately, nothing a consumer can do to prevent a tire’s manufacturing defect but the effects of a defect are exacerbated by under- or over-inflation and inadequate maintenance. Drivers should keep the tires inflated to the proper specified pressure, have them rotated, checking for adequate tread, and looking for signs of wear.
Some signs to look out for include:
- Damage to the sidewalls, including cuts, cracks, or blisters
- Worn or uneven tread
- Tire vibration, possibly signaling a misalignment or tire damage
Defective tires causes serious injuries
No doubt, one of the most famous examples of the danger that defective tires pose is the string of Ford SUV rollovers involving Firestone tires. In the 1990s, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began receiving reports of tire explosion accidents involving Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and Mazda Navajos that were equipped with Firestone tires. Firestone’s former plant in Decatur, Illinois had manufactured a particularly high percentage of the involved tires and the plant ultimately closed over the incidents.
By the year 2000, there were so many accidents related to the tire defects that Firestone and Ford announced a joint recall of more than 14 million tires. The tire defect accidents ultimately claimed more than 250 lives and injured hundreds more.
Unfortunately, the Ford and Firestone recall did not signal the end tire blowout crashes. They are still a too-common occurrence and given the speed and size of a moving vehicle, they have the potential to cause tremendous injury. For example, a 2011 tire blowout bus crash near Rochester killed two passengers and injured 35 more.
If you’ve had a tire defect accident, call Edelman Krasin & Jaye
The tire defect accident lawyers of Edelman Krasin & Jaye are experts in the field of personal injury litigation. Since 1952, we have devoted our practice to protecting the rights of the injured throughout Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.
If you have been involved in a tire defect accident, contact Edelman Krasin & Jaye for a free confidential consultation. We can help you determine your rights and legal options. 1-800-469-7429.
- Consumer Reports, NHTSA study finds underinflated and worn tires increase likelihood of crash, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/05/nhtsa-study-finds-underinflated-and-worn-tires-increase-the-likelihood-of-a-crash/index.htm
- The Center for Auto Safety, Ford Explorer-Firestone Tire, http://www.autosafety.org/ford-explorer-firestone-tire/
- NHTSA, Firestone Tire Recall, http://www.nhtsa.gov/PR/FirestoneRecall
- CBS News, Tire blowout eyed in fatal NY bus crash, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tire-blowout-eyed-in-fatal-ny-bus-crash/