Automotive Tires: The Forgotten Safety Device
Tires take on a tremendous amount of wear and tear and are one of the most important safety features on modern vehicles. Yet, they are also one of the most overlooked maintenance issues. People are apt to push their tires far beyond their reasonable and intended useful life in order to avoid or stave off the cost of replacement. This can be particularly dangerous in Florida, where the hot climate puts an extraordinary strain on this crucial vehicle component, particularly during summer months. What’s more, deterioration — whether resulting from excessive wear or an inherent flaw in design or workmanship — is often not easy to spot. All too often, the first sign is a blow-out or other catastrophic failure.
A 2012 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that tire failure is responsible for more than 75,000 crashes and 10,000 injuries each year. Blowouts and other tire issues also bring about more than 400 estimated fatalities. When handling accident cases that appear to involve tire failure, it is important for attorneys to consider several key questions, including the following:
- Did a condition of the road cause the tire to fail? If so, who was responsible for that condition?
- Did the vehicle owner fail to maintain the vehicle reasonably? Were the tires bald or otherwise excessively worn?
- Did the mechanic who serviced the vehicle fail to identify issues or defects with the tires that should have been apparent to someone else with similar skill, training and experience?
- Were the tires themselves faulty from the beginning? Did a flaw in design or manufacturing cause the tires to fail prematurely under normal conditions and with reasonable maintenance?
- Did a defect in the vehicle cause the tires to wear and fail prematurely?
Unexpected tire failure at highway speeds can cause any driver to lose control. However, inexperienced drivers are especially vulnerable. When a single or multi-vehicle accident appears to have resulted from tire failure, it is crucial that injured victims seek support from a Florida auto accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate the circumstances and take proper legal action against those responsible.