Bad Tires a Deadly Accident Risk in North Carolina
When it comes to summer road safety, few motorists stop to consider the condition of their tires.
But it's your tires, more than any other part of your vehicle, that will have the most impact on whether you arrive safely at your destination. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports vehicles on worn tires take nearly an extra 100 feet to stop at highway speeds compared to vehicles traveling on newer tires.
AAA reports more than 800,000 collisions a year occur in wet weather and offers a number of safety tips for drivers:
- Increase following distance,
- Avoid using cruise control,
- Reduce speed and avoid hard braking or sharp turns, and
- Never drive into standing water and learn how to deal with a vehicle that begins to hydroplane.
Liability for Worn or Defective Tires in Traffic Accident Cases
An experienced Wilmington car accident attorney knows that worn or defective tires can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.
U.S. automakers and tire manufactures have a long history of litigation involving dangerous or defective tires. At the turn of the century, the Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone were blamed for 271 deaths and more than 800 injuries linked to defective tires and rollover accident risks in the Ford Explorer. Tire risks continue to this day, with Consumer Affairs reporting May tire recalls were issued by Continental and Kumho Tire.
Retreaded tires, used by commercial truck drivers as a less expensive alternative, may blow out unexpectedly on the highway. These incidents can cause loss of control and are responsible for the tread carcasses you see lying on the side of the highway.
Tires that are worn and neglected may likewise contribute to or cause a traffic collision. In these cases, tire condition may go toward proving liability on the part of an at-fault driver.
Tire Safety Tips for Virginia Motorists
AAA points to longer times between routine vehicle maintenance as another risk factor when it comes to worn or dangerous tires. With fewer chances for your mechanic to flag the dangers, it's up to motorists to take tire maintenance seriously.
Common tire issues:
- Inflation: Over-inflation and under-inflation are the most common tire maintenance issues. Blowout, increased tire wear, and reduced gas mileage commonly occur as a result.
- Uneven tread wear: Drivers who want to get the most out of their tires should have them rotated according to the manufacture's maintenance schedule. Tires tend to wear at the edges, and uneven edge wear is a sign your tires need to be replaced.
- Sidewall budge: Typically indicates a broken belt inside the tire and requires immediate service.
While we most commonly think of our tires (if we think of them at all) during icy or wet conditions, high road temperatures and hot summer sun can drastically degrade tires in a short period of time, particularly if the rubber is already old or worn.
By paying attention to tire maintenance, you can help keep your family safer this summer and reduce your chances of being blamed for causing a motor-vehicle accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, contact The Law Offices of Richard Flexner. We'll investigate the cause of your accident and fight to hold responsible parties accountable. Get Flexner, we're serious.