Was My Tire Blowout Caused by a Tire Defect?

Craig McClellan

Tire blowouts are common occurrences, and many people do not think to ask what causes them. When, however, a blowout causes a car accident and accident injuries, determining the reason for that blowout becomes more critical. Causes of tire blowouts can range from improper tire maintenance to tire defects. How do you know if you are the victim of a tire defect? Evidence on the road and the tire may hold clues.

For example, highway safety experts and car accident lawyers can look for evidence of:

  • Belt separation
  • Tread separation
  • Inadequate adhesion between the tire's rubber and metal components
  • Defects in steel-belted radials
  • Errors in installing the tires

If evidence of any of these potential defects is present, the manufacturer or seller of the tire may be liable for the accident. Tire companies famously keep tight track of tire blowout information without releasing the information to the public. Despite their privacy, Popular Mechanics notes that it is a commonly-known industry fact that tire blowout “season” is from May to October.

Why those months? It’s not directly caused by the heat, but it is an effect—warmer months are when drivers load their cars more heavily, drive faster, and drive further. Heavier use of defective or badly maintained tires leads to more blowouts, which can lead to more accidents.

Tire blowout accidents have truly horrifying potential. Loss of a tire, combined with a sudden swerve common to many driving responses, can lead to a rollover accident—which have a radically high fatality rate. The NHTSA found that 22% of tire-related crashes result in a rollover or more than 1 in 5. Rollovers, despite being only 2% of all accidents, account for a third of all crash fatalities.

In cases involving malfunctioning or old tires, the car's owner could be held responsible for failure to properly maintain the tires. Proper maintenance includes:

  • Checking tire pressure at least once a month
  • Inspecting tires for signs of wear or foreign objects
  • Checking your tire's tread and replacing tires when necessary
  • Having your vehicle's alignment and tire balance examined
  • Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles

No matter what the cause of your tire blowout accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.