Tire Blowouts in Hot Weather in Virginia
Extreme weather causes many dangers for motorists. One of the most common hazards is tire blowouts in hot weather in Virginia.
As temperatures reached triple digits in July 2019 in Virginia, AAA reminded drivers of the dangers of tire blowouts and of other precautions to take to ensure safe driving.
Extremely high temperatures increase tire pressure, stretching tires to their limits. When the tire pressure rises, the tread spreads. The danger of the tire breaking apart as the air inside expands increases.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Tire Blowouts?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) links as many as 78,000 accidents every year to tire blowouts and flat tires. Tires cause more than 10,000 serious injuries and over 400 deaths annually.
NHTSA’s Crash Causation Survey found tire issues caused as many as 1 in 11 crashes (9%). Common problems included tread separation, blowouts, bald tires, and under-inflation.
Expert say under-inflation leads to a range of problems for the motorist including poor handling, bad fuel economy, longer stopping distances, and added stress to tire components and wear and tear. The combination of under inflation and hot weather can be serious but you should also be wary of the dangers of overinflation in hot weather.
Tire aging is another serious problem. An analysis of crashes in the NHTSA’s National Automotive Sampling System from 2005-2007 found about 90 people die and an additional 3,200 are injured each year in crashes in which tire aging was a factor.
Tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are 6 to 10 years old, regardless of tread wear. If your car is fitted with a used replacement tire, try to establish the age of the tire before it is fitted.
Tread depth is also an important factor. With tread depth of 2/32” or less, cars and trucks experienced tire issues before the crash three times more often than vehicles with tread depth between 3 to 4/32”. The average new tire for a car starts with a tread depth of 10/32” to 11/32, states the NHTSA.
Defective Tires Cause Blowouts in Virginia
On occasions, faulty tires rather than a lack of maintenance causes a tire blow out. Accidents caused by tire blowouts are often extremely serious because they are sudden and unexpected. The driver may have little time to take corrective action.
Although tire manufacturers improved their products in recent years, poor standards and negligent design remain a problem in the industry. Defective tires are more likely to fail in hot weather. Tread separation issues have dogged the auto industry. However, a tire blowout may be caused by poor fitting of the tire on the rim. People who end up injured in car or truck crashes may have grounds to sue a carmaker, a tire maker, or a workshop.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, defective Firestone tires on Ford Explorer SUVs resulted in a mass recalls, at least 170 deaths and more than 700 injuries. As recently 2018, defective Goodyear motorhome tires were linked to as many as 95 deaths and injuries.
Talk to a Hampton Defective Tire Injury Lawyer
At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys help people who sustain serious injuries like head and brain injuries in accidents caused by tire blowouts.
A crash caused by an under-inflated tire may be the fault of a driver who failed to maintain the tire, a repair facility, or a manufacturer. Please talk to our legal team about your rights today if you have been hurt in a tire blowout in hot weather in Virginia or elsewhere at 757.244.7000.