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Catastrophic Car and Truck Crashes Caused by Tire Failure

September 20, 2022 | Category: Tire Failures | Share

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 664 motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2020 caused by faulty tires. Over-inflated tires make vehicles more prone to slipping because less tire surface grips the road. This slipping can result in vehicle rollovers. 

NHTSA reports that even more dangerous than over-inflated tires are under-inflated tires. Under-inflation (25 percent below their rated pressure) is three times more likely to cause vehicle crashes than over-inflation. Not only do under-inflated tires overheat and explode causing blowouts, but they also cause instability, even under ideal conditions, making vehicles difficult to maneuver.

In February 2021, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reported that a van hauling a trailer driven by a 41-year-old Immokalee man crashed and sent multiple people to the hospital. In addition to the driver, there were seven passengers.  The FHP report said the cause of the accident was a blown-out tire causing the driver to lose control. The van overturned, spilled its cargo, a four-wheeler, and wooden pallets onto the roadway.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 90 percent of tire failures are caused by under-inflated tires.

Catastrophic Truck & Car Crashes Caused by Tire FailureCauses of Tire Failures

Over-inflation and under-inflation can exacerbate tire failure in accidents caused by:

  • Road Debris – Sharp objects on the road can pop a tire, such as uncleaned accident debris and deep potholes.
  • Overweight – Weight issues are more related to company vehicles that have weight restrictions but may not follow them. This extra pressure on the tires can cause them to pop and make the vehicle difficult to control.
  • Maintenance Issues – Drivers can be held responsible for tire blowouts if they fail to maintain their vehicles. They should be checked at least monthly.

Legislators and industry have been working on the problem since the Ford Explorer recall of 13 million tires more than a decade ago.  After which, Congress mandated that all vehicles be equipped with TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems).  In the beginning, these basic systems would often give false alerts, not designate which tire was under-inflated, or they were simply ignored.  Today, manufacturers are using more advanced TPMS technology which will identify which tire has the problem.

"Technology can be wonderful, but a combination of technology and knowledge is even better," says Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Randall Spivey, Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.

According to BFGoodrich, tires can lose up to 1 psi (pounds per square inch) every month.  It's important to check tires (including the spare) at least monthly.

Here's how they recommend doing it:

  1. Purchase a trusted pressure gauge.
  2. Check your tires “cold” – before you’ve driven or at least three hours after you’ve driven.
  3. Insert a pressure gauge into the valve stem on your tire. (The gauge will “pop” out and show a measured number. When you hear a “pssst” sound, that’s air escaping the tire. The escaping air shouldn’t affect pressure substantially, unless you hold down the air pressure gauge too long.)
  4. Compare the measured psi to the psi found on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your vehicle or in the owner’s manual. DO NOT compare to the psi on your tire’s sidewall.
  5. If your psi is above the number, let the air out until it matches. If below, add air until it reaches the proper number.

"Monitoring the inflation level of tires as well as monitoring tires' wear and tear is the drivers' responsibility.  Do it, and do it regularly," cautions Attorney Spivey.

NHTSA says its program, TireWise™, is essential for safe driving. TireWise™ provides drivers with information about buying tires, tire maintenance and labeling, aging, fuel efficiency, and tire retailers.

Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can cause tire blowouts, and accidents can cause severe damage to vehicles and catastrophic injuries, even death, to those involved in these accidents. Some of the possible types of accidents that can happen because of a tire blowout are:

When a tire pops, drivers lose control, and they may merge into other lanes or cross multiple lanes because the vehicle(s) are not functioning properly.

Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney Assists Victims of Accidents Caused by Over-inflated and Under-inflated tires.

Determining fault for tire blowout accidents is important before filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party, either a private driver, company driver, or anyone else. If the accident is caused by a company-owned vehicle, it is the responsibility of the company and driver to follow trucking laws about weight.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle crash because of the negligence of another, please contact us today to discuss your legal rights. You may contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. at 239.337.7483, toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or online at The legal staff is available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until the firm receives a monetary recovery for you.



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