Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Warn Drivers to Beware of Tire Blowout SeasonJuly 31, 2015
Summer travel can take its toll on your vehicle’s tires. High temperatures, long distances and heavy loads can wear tires out more quickly, leading to tire failure or blowout. Blowout events are extremely dangerous. According to the NHTSA, flat tires and tire blowouts cause as many as 78,392 car crashes annually, resulting in more than 400 fatalities and 10,000 injuries.
Several factors can make tires especially vulnerable in the summer months. Below are some causes of tire failure along with tips for keeping your tires safe when traveling this summer and throughout the year to avoid the risk of a car accident.
Low Air Pressure
Underinflation is a major cause of tire blowout. Lack of proper air pressure forces a tire to work harder than it’s built to. The tire’s internal components begin to bend and flex, causing the steel, fabric and rubber to become too hot. This, combined with high ambient temperatures, can cause the internal structure of the tire to break down rapidly, ultimately resulting in a blowout.
Though most new cars have automatic sensors to detect low air pressure, the system does not issue an alert until a tire is significantly underinflated. Drivers need to routinely check their tires’ pressure by hand, or better yet, have them checked by a mechanic or tire dealer.
Too Much Weight
Summer trips often include added cargo in your vehicle. Whether it is additional family members and all of their gear, or the paving stones you need to update your patio, all of that added weight can wreak havoc on your tires.
To combat this issue, check your vehicle’s Gross Vehicular Weight Rating. This information can be found on a sticker located on your driver’s side door jamb. When carrying extra-heavy loads, increase your tire’s air pressure to the maximum load indicated by the maximum pressure number found on the tire sidewall. That number indicates the maximum weight each tire can withstand if the tire is filled to maximum pressure.
Most people know that tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to a certain point. Besides mileage, other factors can affect the wear on your tires. Underinflation, improper alignment and even the tire’s age can have an impact on a tire’s performance.
The minimum requirement for tire tread depth in Maryland is 2/32”. However, studies have shown that replacing tires when the tread has worn past 4/32” significantly reduces the chance of a tire blowout. Safety experts also recommend having your vehicle’s alignment checked regularly and having tires rotated to reduce uneven wear. When replacing tires, be aware that the age of the tire can also affect performance. Even if the tire is new or has low mileage, the quality of internal components can deteriorate if the tire has been sitting in a warehouse or garage for multiple years.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Those Injured in Car Accidents Caused by Tire Blowouts
All drivers have a responsibility to inspect their vehicles for safety issues and correct problems before they cause a car accident. If you’ve been hit by another driver who experienced a tire blowout caused by improper care, or if a manufacturing defect caused your tire to blowout, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to discuss your possible claim or contact us online. A member of our highly qualified legal team is available to take your call 24 hours a day. Our firm represents car accident cases on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing until we recover damages for you.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to serve accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.