Tire blowouts cause thousands of accidents every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that over 78,000 accidents are caused each year from tire blowouts and flat tires. These resulted in over 10,000 serious injuries and over 400 deaths.
With tires being such an important component for vehicle safety, tire manufacturers need to make sure that the tires they produce will not prematurely expire and cause these types of accidents.
There are literally hundred of thousands of tires recalled for manufacturer defects every year. The NHTSA lists all tire recalls on their website. In the two and a half months between June and the middle of August 2012, eight tire recalls have been issued. These represent hundreds of thousands of tires that need to be removed from the market in only about 10 weeks.
The most famous tire recall of recent years was the Ford/Firestone recall back in 2000. Over 250 deaths and over 3,000 serious injuries were attributed to the faulty tires. The combination of the recalled Firestone tires with the Ford Explorer was responsible for nearly half the deaths. There were over 6 million tires that had to be recalled.
Testing & Regulation
Many consumers would assume that the government is testing and regulating the tires that are being sold to them. However, there is little testing that is done. Even the ratings that manufacturers give to their tires are not inspected except by possibly a third party that the manufacturer hires.
The manufacturer does most safety testing within the company and records the results as well. These test are generally to see that the tire performs at different speeds and loads and are done on stationary wheels. They are also tested for puncture resistance. The manufacturers are allowed to re-test tires as many times as they want to obtain positive results.
Considering the importance of tires to the safety of a vehicle, it is surprising how few regulations are put on the manufacturers. They are virtually left on an honor system to make sure they are putting quality products out for sale to the public.
Tire Companies Responsibilities
Until the government decides to regulate tire production closer, it is up to the tire companies to implement higher standards of testing on their products. Consumer safety should be the highest concern. Waiting for issues to occur on the road when lives may be at stake and then issuing a “recall” is a poor method of handling product safety.
The bad press alone should be should be enough to spur companies to increase their own safety regulations. The reduction in sales after a well-publicized account of safety related deaths and injuries, coupled with lawsuits seem like good financial motivators. However, given the amount of recalls that are continually being issued for tires in particular, the need for additional regulation of tire safety seems apparent.
Consumers can protect themselves by being alerted immediately if a tire recall has been issued on their tires. They can sign up when they purchase tires to receive a Google Alert if their tires are later recalled. They can also go to the recall section of the NHTSA website and enter their tire identification number to see if it has had any recalls.
Tire Accident Blow-out Lawyers
A tire blow-out accident may be due to a variety of factors including manufacturing defects of negligent maintenance on the owner of the vehicle– or a convergence of factors. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understands the serious injuries that result from car and truck tire blow-outs.
Because of the mechanical nature of these cases, the success of these cases commonly hangs upon an intensive investigation of the tire involved in the accident. Our attorneys have working relationships with some of the leading engineers to get to the crux of these cases quickly. Even if you are unsure of the specific cause of your crash give our tire blowout lawyers a call today for a free case evaluation.