According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9 percent of passenger cars in the United States have at least one bad tire. According to an earlier NHTSA study cited in the report, more than 400 deaths, nearly 11,000 non-fatal injuries and more than 78,000 crashes occur annually due to flat tires or blowouts. Driving with faulty tires is clearly a major safety hazard.
Why do you need to monitor tire age?
When tires age, they lose structural integrity and tread. This increases the likelihood that tires will skid or blow out and cause accidents.
How often should drivers change their tires?
NHTSA guidelines recommend one inspection after the first five years of driving and an additional annual inspection for each additional year that tires are used. In addition, certain tires may degrade at higher rates, and drivers should review tire manuals to see whether they should change their tires more frequently. Finally, tires that are unused for long periods of time or on cars left outside can degrade faster.
Whom can you sue if you are injured by a car with worn, faulty or degraded tires?
If you can show that a faulty, worn or degraded tire caused your injuries, you may be able to sue the:
- Driver — for failing to replace tires that have been recalled or failing to follow NHTSA guidelines for replacing worn tires
- Repair shop — in 2011, a San Diego jury awarded nearly $23 million to the estate of a couple killed in an accident caused by a poorly repaired tire
- Manufacturer — for example, if you can show that you were hurt by a recalled tire
If you or a loved one is injured due to a tire failure and you believe that the driver or another third part may be at fault, you need to contact an experienced Gwinnett and Atlanta-area automobile accident attorney who can help you to identify the responsible parties and build a solid case for damages.