Anyone who has experienced a tire blowout while driving can tell you that it can be a very frightening experience. If a tire suddenly blows out, the vehicle could swerve, and you could try to pull over safely, but it is not always easy. What causes tire blowouts? What are the dangers?
Tires blow out when the sides become weaker than the treads. That lack of pressure causes weak spots to develop; the air then blasts through. Tires do not last forever, and car owners do not always replace them because they forget, put it off because it is expensive, or just have not found the time to go to the repair shop. Tires can be defective too, which also causes blowouts. Auto manufacturers frequently issue safety recalls, but these are not always received in time.
Tires should also be rotated according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You should make it a habit to have your tires inspected every 6,000 miles. This ensures that they will wear more evenly and that they will not develop worn areas. Thin treads and excessively worn tires are much more likely to experience a blowout, and the chance increases if you run over a pothole or hit a nail or another type of sharp object.
Overinflation and Underinflation
Overinflation and underinflation are other causes of tire blowouts. Too much air can make the tires wear faster and more unevenly. When tires are underinflated, they can overheat and blow out.
Every tire has an ideal air pressure number. Since 2007, all new vehicles are equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). You may get an alarm when your tires are not properly inflated, but tires can blow out without alerts when the monitors are not sensitive enough.
Potholes and Sharp Objects
Many roads are full of potholes, and you can blow out a tire when you run over one, particularly if you are driving too fast. Besides that, running over debris and hitting curbs are also problematic. You might not realize that you have driven over something sharp, and it can get embedded into the tire and cause a slow leak. This causes the sides to wear down.
Too Much Weight
Vehicles carrying too much weight are also more prone to tire blowouts. All vehicles have weight restrictions, even passenger cars. The best advice is to avoid overloading your vehicle, and to steer clear of any others that look like they are carrying too much weight as well.
Most tire blowouts occur when the weather is hot outside because higher temperatures make tires overheat. You will also see more people traveling during the warmer months, increasing the risk of encountering tire blowouts.
What Should I Do if My Tire Blows Out?
It is easy to panic when a tire blows out because of the alarming loud sound and loss of vehicle control. With front tires blow out, the vehicle generally pulls forward to the right or left side, and the steering wheel vibrates. If it is a rear tire, you will likely hear a wobbling sound, and the car will start to move unsteadily. You might instinctively want to hit the brakes and pull off to the side of the road, but this is not always wise.
Instead of pulling over, maintain your speed and direction. Accelerate a bit more to make up for the drag pulling on your car. Once you feel that you have control, slowly press on the brake pedal. As the vehicle slows down, you can pull over to the side of the road. Keep the blown out tire faced away from traffic if possible, and turn on your hazard lights. You can then call for help. Leaving a car on a busy road can be very dangerous. You should get out of the vehicle if possible and wait at a safe distance until help arrives.
Why Are Tire Blowouts Dangerous?
Tire blowouts can be extremely dangerous. These unexpected incidents make it difficult to handle the car, and a tire blowout can cause a very serious car accident. The risk of injury increases when vehicles are traveling at high speeds. When a tire blowout happens, the vehicle can spin around before coming to a complete stop, and it can smash into a nearby car.
A spinning vehicle can slam into guardrails and other stationary objects as well. It can also cross into other lanes and oncoming traffic. In addition to all of these dangers, an exploding tire can throw material into the roadway, which can hit other vehicles.
A blown out tire can also damage the tire’s rim. Many people end up driving vehicles with flattened tires to get them out of harm’s way, and even if the tire is improperly inflated, that can also damage the rim.
Cars with damaged rims are harder to steer, and replacing a rim is much more costly than replacing only the tire. The best move is to replace damaged tires right away instead of driving around on them. Replace it with a spare if you have one, and take the car in for immediate repair. Spare tires are not always properly inflated, and they may also not be the right size or sturdy enough for extended use.
Are Tire Blowouts Preventable?
Tire blowout accidents can be devasting, and many of them are preventable. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, about 33,000 tire-related car accidents every year. Out of those accidents, more than 2,000 are caused by sidewall tire blowouts. To prevent tire blowouts, drivers need to pay attention to the state of their tires. Proper maintenance is key. Check the car’s manual to see how often they recommend tire rotations. When you take it in to the shop, they will let you know the state of your tires. It is recommended to check tire pressure every month. You should remember that the risk of a tire blowout increases during the warm weather months.
If you have any newer drivers in the house, make sure that they understand the importance of proper tire maintenance. This is not always taught in driving school, and it is just as important as knowing how to make a turn at an intersection or how to drive safely at night.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Can Help You Explore Your Options After a Tire Blowout Accident
Most tire blowout accidents are preventable. If you have been injured in a tire blowout accident because the negligence of another driver, reach out to one of our Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law for legal assistance. For a free consultation, complete our online form call us at 856-414-0010. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.