Like most other aspects of automotive design, tire technology has improved over time. Consistent advancements in the materials and technology used to construct tires have made them more durable and more responsive, which, for most drivers, means less time spent changing a flat and less money spent on replacement.
Even with these improvements, tire blowouts still cause a significant number of accidents in Rhode Island and across the United States every year. Although drivers can lower the risk of a tire blowout, it is essential to understand what to do if a tire explosion causes an accident.
There are many ways you can avoid a tire blowout. The following are some simple strategies that will help protect your tires, your car, and the precious cargo it carries:
Do maintenance check-ups.
Consult your owner’s manual for specifics on air pressure and tread wear. Check tires frequently to be sure they are properly inflated and free from obvious damage or debris such as nails or glass. When in doubt, have your tires checked by a mechanic, and replace them when needed. Be sure that preparing an accident kit is part of your regular maintenance routine.
A main threat to your tires is the road itself and the hazards you encounter while driving. Dangerous debris such as jagged metal and glass, or obstacles like potholes and traffic barriers, can seriously damage your tires and cause an accident. To avoid these risks, drive at a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you, so you have time to react when hazards appear, and always keep your full attention on the road.
If one of your tires does explode while driving, the best way to avoid an accident with another vehicle is to stay calm. It is important not to brake suddenly or turn the wheel too violently, so the driver behind you can adjust to the blowout, slow down, and not lose control of their vehicle.
Even safe drivers with properly maintained vehicles fall victim to accidents caused by a tire blowout, and these crashes can cause devastating injuries to drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians. When an exploding tire results in an accident, it is not always the fault of the driver, however. It is important to investigate a blowout accident to determine if any of the following contributed to the tire failure:
Negligent repair maintenance.
Although most automotive repair professionals are skilled experts, they may improperly install or rotate a tire that leads to a blowout. When a tire explodes due to the actions of a mechanic who improperly installed the tire, over- or under-inflated the tire during routine service, or neglected to indicate damage they observed, that mechanic may be liable for any accident that follows.
Negligent road maintenance.
Some road conditions present hazards which a driver cannot reasonably avoid. If your car blew a tire which led to a collision, be sure to document if there were road conditions that may have contributed. If a pothole caused your tire to explode, the city or state which failed to maintain safe roads may share the blame.
Road debris from another vehicle.
Tires can be damaged when your car comes in contact with dangerous objects that have fallen from another vehicle. If a commercial truck or someone’s car is carrying a poorly secured load, items can drop onto the road that create damage to the vehicles around them. When an accident is caused by hazards that another driver leaves behind, that driver may share the blame for a tire blowout.
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