What Happens in a Tire Blowout Accident?

A tire blowout can be terrifying and very dangerous. A tire bursting causes you to suddenly lose control of your vehicle, usually with your car being pulled violently to one side. Every year, about 75,000 accidents result from tire blowouts, which kill more than 400 people. 

Read on to learn what can make a tire burst and what to do in a tire blowout car accident

Common Causes of Tire Blowouts

What can make a tire blow up suddenly? A blowout can be caused by sudden damage or long-term wear, among many other problems. The risk of a blowout increases if there are multiple issues, like an overloaded car with underinflated tires. Extreme heat and cold can also contribute to a blowout by affecting tire pressure. 

Below are some of the most common causes of a tire blowout. 

Old Tires

Tires are rubber-based products that degrade with age. Even if they have never been used, old tires may be dangerous and prone to fissures, cracks, tread separation, and blowout. 

Every tire sold in the United States has a stamped manufacture date as a four-digit code. The first two numbers (one to 52) indicate the week of manufacture, and the second two digits indicate the year. A tire with a date stamp of 3414, for instance, was manufactured in August 2014. 

Generally, tires are good for six to ten years past their manufacture date. As tires get older, the rubber material becomes brittle and more prone to cracks and failure. 

Worn Tires

Outside of the tires’ actual age, tires become more likely to blow out as they become worn. As tires wear out and lose tread depth, they become more susceptible to overheating from friction and poor airflow. They also become more vulnerable to damage and underinflation, which can cause a blowout. 

Tire Damage From a Puncture or Road Defects

Hitting road debris, running over something sharp that causes a tiny puncture, or hitting a deep pothole can all cause damage that leads to a blowout. Depending on the severity, a damaged tire may blow out soon after impact, or it may take days. Small punctures can cause a slow loss of air that eventually leads to a blown tire without repair. 

Overinflated or Underinflated Tires

Overinflated tires are susceptible to damage. However, underinflated tires are even more likely to blow out.

Tires that are underinflated have too much flex in the sidewall. They are prone to overheating, premature wear, and separation. Increased surface area in contact with the road increases friction, which can cause the tire to blow out. 

Overloaded Vehicle

Overloading a vehicle’s weight capacity can put too much pressure on the tires. This can cause premature tire failure or a blowout, especially if the tires are already worn. 

Improper Tire Installation or Repair

While less common, tire blowouts can also be caused by improper mounting, the incorrect tire size for the vehicle, or poorly performed repairs. 

Manufacturing Defects

Defective tires can blow out and cause an accident, even without user error or apparent wear. Tire defects can happen during the tire’s design or manufacturing, which makes the tires inherently unsafe. 

Tire defects come in many forms, including low-quality or contaminated materials, improper curing time or temperature, and poor formulas that cause high failure rates.

What To Do During a Tire Blowout

A tire blowout is usually very loud, sudden, and frightening. When the tire bursts, you may hear a loud bang or boom, which may even sound like a gunshot. If the tire went flat first and then tore apart, it may not be as loud. You may also hear a flapping sound from the deflated tire smacking against the road. 

Immediately grip the steering wheel firmly with both hands. Resist the urge to yank the wheel, overcorrect, or hit the brakes: stay calm and focus on keeping the car going straight without turning the steering wheel. 

Gently accelerating after the blowout can help you regain control of your car by maintaining forward momentum. Slamming on the brakes is the worst thing you can do. 

While calmly steering straight, let the car slow itself down. Turn on your emergency lights as soon as it’s safe to do so. When your speed falls below 30 mph, you can gently begin braking. Wait until you’re going 20 mph or slower before slowly turning the wheel to get off the road. 

Tips To Prevent a Blown Tire Accident

Sometimes, a tire blowout accident is unavoidable, but there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of premature tire failure. 

  • Check your tire pressure regularly and ensure your tires are inflated based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Inspect your tires every time you stop for gas to look for signs of damage, uneven wear, or air loss. 
  • Check your tire tread depth using a penny or a quarter, and replace your tires when the tread gets too worn. 
  • When it’s time to change your engine oil, check your suspension and make sure your car’s alignment is good. Both can cause uneven tire wear. 
  • Have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles to ensure even wear. 

Finally, make sure you know when it’s time to replace your tires. Generally, tires should be replaced when they are more than six years old or the tread depth is less than 2/32”. The average set of tires lasts for 50,000 to 75,000 miles, but the type of tire and how it’s used will affect the lifespan. 

Some manufacturers warranty tires for up to 80,000 miles or more. Certain tires, particularly high-performance models, are designed to last about 30,000 miles or less.

Who Could Be At Fault For a Tire Blowout Accident?

If an accident is caused by a tire blowout, an investigation is necessary to determine who is liable. If the blowout was caused by worn, old, or improperly maintained tires, the driver can be found at fault. If a crash is caused by defective tires, the manufacturer may be to blame. They can be held liable for damages through a product liability case.

Contact an Experienced Gainesville Car Accident Attorney For Help After a Tire Blowout

If you have been hurt in a tire blowout accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you explore your options for recovering compensation. Call our law office for a free case review with a Gainesville car accident lawyer to discuss how we can help.

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258