When a tire fails, the driver is in trouble. Sometimes a failing tire causes a vehicle to veer uncontrollably, causing a rollover. Other times, a failing tire causes a vehicle to turn into oncoming traffic. Either way, the consequences can be catastrophic. Although defective tires cause about 400 deaths per year, too many people remain unaware of the dangers the tires create.
Many people refer to all tire failures as “blowouts,” but actually, tires can fail in a variety of ways. For instance:
Frequently, the tread of the tire peels off the body of the tire in stages, creating resistance, making noise, and damaging the vehicle as it self-destructs. Even after a tread separation occurs and causes a wreck, the main body of the tire-termed the “carcass”-often remains inflated. The result is that an investigating officer may not realize that a defective tire is the culprit.
It may not be immediately obvious that a bad tire caused a wreck. Sometimes drivers or vehicle occupants-even those who can recall the wreck sequence-don’t know why the vehicle suddenly became impossible to control. They may have heard a “whump, whump, whump” and felt the vehicle begin to shake, but they may not realize that poorly manufactured tires can cause those symptoms.
Other times, the occupants of the vehicle may have died or sustained brain injuries in the wreck that make it impossible for them to recall what happened. Investigating police officers may not be aware of the need to inspect a wrecked vehicle’s tires, so they may not note the failed tire in their official report of the wreck-particularly if the occupants of the vehicle aren’t around to talk about it.
Too often, tires fail because they are defective. Sometimes the tire manufacturer is negligent in the construction of the tire, allowing air pockets to form between tire layers or failing to align the tire belts. Other times, the tire manufacturer is negligent in the design of the tire, relying on poor-quality rubber or leaving out crucial pieces that hold tires together.
At Butler Prather LLP, we know tires. We understand how and why tires fail. We understand what happens when tires fail. Most importantly, we know what to do about it. Our attorneys have handled cases against most major tire manufacturers, including Bridgestone/Firestone, Cooper, Dunlop, Goodyear, Hankook, and Michelin/Uniroyal/BF Goodrich.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a car wreck, don’t forget to check the tires-both on the injured person’s vehicle, and on the vehicle that caused the collision. Or you can talk to us about it-for free. Call Butler Prather LLP at (800) 242-2962 or leave a message through our website for a free consultation.