Flat tires can be more than a nuisance, especially if they happen while driving on a major road or highway. Fort Myers Tire Failures Attorney recommends that motorists always check their tires before driving. Tires are motorists' "first line of defense" against accidents.
In April 2012 the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) released Tire Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase. Their study focused on tire problems experienced by light vehicles in the pre-crash phase. They were particularly interested in tire problems such as blowouts or flat tires, tire or wheel deficiency, tire or wheel failure and tire degradation. They studied a sample of 5,470 crashes representing 2,188,970 crashes at the national level. In 9% of these crashes, one or more vehicles experienced tire problems in the pre-crash phase.
Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. would like to share the National Safety Council (NSC)'s recommendations for what to do if you have a blowout to avoid vehicle crashes:
- At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the steering wheel firmly.
- Don't slam on the brakes.
- Let the car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
- Work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or, if possible, toward an exit.
- If it is necessary to change lanes, signal your intentions to drivers behind, and do so smoothly and carefully watching your mirrors and the traffic around you very closely.
- Steer as your vehicle slows down. It is better to roll the car off the roadway (when you have slowed to 30 miles per hour) and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end or side collision from other vehicles.
- When all four wheels are off the pavement—brake lightly and cautiously until you stop.
- Turn your emergency flashers on.
- It's important to have the car well off the pavement and away from traffic before stopping, even if proceeding to a place of safety means rolling along slowly with the bad tire flapping. You can drive on a flat if you take it easy and avoid sudden moves. Don't worry about damaging the tire. It is probably ruined anyway.
- Once off the road, put out reflective triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Keep your emergency flashers on. If you know how to change a tire, have the equipment and can do it safely without being near traffic, change the tire as you normally would.
- Remember that being safe must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have. Changing a tire with traffic whizzing past can be nerve-wracking at best and dangerous at worst. Therefore, it may be best to get professional help if you have a tire problem or other breakdown on a multi-lane highway.
- Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know that you need help.
- Don't stand behind or next to your vehicle. If possible, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
- All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special "call-for-help" phones. If you have a cell phone you can call right from the roadside.
- Finally, NSC recommends that a qualified mechanic check your vehicle after having a flat tire or blowout to be sure there is no residual damage from the bad tire or the aftermath of the flat.
Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.