If you’re like most other drivers, you probably take for granted that your tires will get you wherever you want to go. Your tires are an extremely important part of your vehicle. As long as they’re working efficiently, they make contact with the ground and allow you to move forward and backward and to stop and turn as needed.
Unfortunately, tires don’t always do the job they’re supposed to do. Tire-related crashes occur every year, and this can happen when tires are weak, under-inflated or otherwise defective. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as many as two out of every hundred accidents are attributed to vehicles. Of these, as many as 35 percent are caused by a tire problem.
Tire Problems That Can Lead to Accidents
There are different types of defects or damage to your tires that can make your vehicle a lot less safe, and not all of these are obvious. You may be careful to do a visual inspection of your tires and think they look good, and they may even feel good as you drive.
Tire problems that may eventually lead to accidents include:
- Underinflated or overinflated tires
- Weak rubber
- Separation of tread
- A tire not suitable for vehicle
- Irregular tread wear
- Improper puncture repair
- Retread failure
- Tires damaged while being mounted
To help prevent these problems, frequently inspect your tires for signs of damage, such as cuts or cracks in the sidewall, overly worn tread or uneven tread wear. If you notice a bulge in your tire, it’s a sign of a worn spot that requires immediate attention. If you feel excessive vibrations as you drive, you may have damaged or misaligned tires. If your tires show any signs of wear or damage, have them professionally inspected to see if you need to have them repaired or replaced.
Consequences of Driving with Damaged or Defective Tires
Improperly inflated, defective or worn tires increase the likelihood that you may be involved in a car accident. Tire problems can put you, your passengers and other innocent people at risk.
Possible consequences of driving with faulty tires include:
- Difficulty stopping – Worn tread or bald tires can affect your vehicle’s ability to stop.
- Blowouts – If your tires are underinflated or overinflated, you may experience a blowout. If this happens, you may lose control of your vehicle.
- Decreased traction – When your tire tread is worn down, vehicle traction is affected. Road grip is reduced, particularly in snow or on wet roads, and you may end up hydroplaning.
- Fire – Underinflated tires can cause heat to build up, which may trigger a fire.
- Other maintenance problems – Weak tires can lead to balance problems and uneven wheel alignment. This may eventually lead to the need for expensive repairs to your vehicle.
To avoid experiencing these consequences and ultimately causing a crash, check your tire pressure regularly. Tires need to be replaced regularly, typically after driving 50,000 miles or five years. Get in the habit of having routine maintenance done, which includes rotating tires and checking alignment.
If You’ve Been in an Accident
While accidents caused by tire problems are unintentional, drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicles safe and in good working order. This includes taking care of tires by regularly inspecting them, having routine maintenance done and replacing them if necessary.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, fill out the form on this page to get in touch with an expert in personal injury law at Taos Injury Lawyers. We’ll get back to you very soon to discuss what happened and whether you have a case.