When a tire fails, you may refer to the situation as a “blow-out.” Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common cause of motor vehicle accidents that result in serious and often fatal injuries. While it may be easy to figure out of a tire failed, it is more difficult to determine what caused it to fail. Hiring an attorney who has experience with these types of cases can be beneficial. They can determine if a person was injured or killed because of a defective tire. If this is the case, then you may be able to recover monetary compensation.
Common Reasons Tires Fail
As time passes, tires deteriorate. As a result, it is common to find failures in older tires. In other situations, manufacturing defects or poor design can result a in a tire failing long before it reaches the end of its useful life (before the tread is worn away). Several causes of tire failure are found here.
Age of the Tire
As time passes, all tires will deteriorate. However, older tires have a higher risk of failure than new ones that similar tread depth and wear. The automotive and tire industries have been aware of the dangers of aged tires for many years. However, there are still quite a few manufacturers who fail to give an expiration date that determines when a tire should no longer be used. Other manufacturers set expiration dates that are completely unrealistic. Even worse is that practical steps haven’t been taken to ensure consumers are aware of the critical danger present.
Manufacturing or Design Defects
Improper or poor tire design or tire component specification, such as having an inner liner that is too thin, can result in air flow permeating the structure of the tire. This can result in the rubber components oxidizing, making them brittle, which can cause them to be more susceptible to tearing. This can lead to tread separations. Also, tires are manufactured by tire builders, by hand. If conditions in the plant are poor or the various components are not properly placed, the tire may also fail prematurely.
If the rubber of your tire loses elasticity because of oxidation, it is similar to laying a rubber band in the sun. This causes the rubber to become fragile and therefore susceptible to tearing. The same thing may happen to your tires if they aren’t manufactured properly.
Are Your Tires Safe?
Regardless of the type of vehicle you drive, it is important that you remain vigilant to ensure your tires are safe. Each tire that is produced has a DOT number imprinted on one of the sidewalls. The last four of the numbers are what you should pay attention to.
Tires that were produced after January 1, 2000 will have a four digit code after the DOT number. The first two digits show the week the tire was produced and the last two represent the year the tire was produced. For example, 4216 means that the tire was produced during the 42nd week of 2016.
Being aware of the age of your tires can help you remain safe while on the road. If you are in an accident because of tire failure, contact a personal injury attorney to help determine if there was some type of manufacturing defect present. If there was, you may be able to recover monetary compensation.