Tire blowouts happen quite often and can result in serious collisions, severe or fatal injuries and other damages. If you were injured in a tire blowout crash, would your car insurance cover your losses?
This article discusses more about accidents caused by a tire blowout, including why they happen, what your insurance may cover and who may be liable.
At Goldberg Finnegan, we are prepared to fight for victims injured in tire blowout accidents and other types of crashes caused by someone else.
We have spent decades advocating for injured victims, recovering more than $130 million on their behalf. Find out about your legal options, including if you have a claim, in the free initial consultation we offer. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you following this meeting. Our Silver Spring car crash attorneys have extensive experience, and we are here to help.
Proven Results. No Upfront Costs. (888) 213-8140
What Causes a Tire Blowout to Happen?
A tire blowout is what happens when a tire suddenly bursts and rapidly loses tire pressure. It is a dangerous situation that can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2019, 612 people were killed in tire-related crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board further reports that, on average, 33,000 collisions each year are due to tire-related issues.
There are many factors that may make a tire blowout more likely to happen, including:
- Old tires with worn treads: To maintain safe tires, they should be inspected regularly and replaced as needed.
- Tires with low pressure: Driving on tires with pressure lower than what the manufacturer recommends is risky. It causes your tires to over flex, overheat, and may ultimately lead to a blowout.
- Overloaded tires: Tires are only made to withstand certain specified weight limits. Exceeding those limits by overloading your vehicle could cause your tires to wear prematurely and increase the risk of a blowout.
- Impact damage: If your vehicle strikes a curb or other object at a certain angle, your tire could blowout immediately upon impact or soon after.
- Potholes: Drivers who do not attempt to avoid potholes and other road hazards increase the risk of a blowout.
- Vehicle/mechanical issues: Maintaining your vehicle is critical for safe operation, but it also affects the life of your tires. For instance, if your tires are out of alignment, it can cause irregular wear of your tires.
- Defective tires: Tires that are defective due to faulty manufacturing or poor design may also be at risk for a blowout.
Will My Insurance Cover the Damages From a Tire Blowout Crash?
If the tire blowout is caused through no negligence on your part, your insurance may cover the damages. That said, there are many factors to consider before that can be determined, such as:
- How your insurance policy is written and what coverage you purchased
- Who had the tire blowout that caused the crash – you or another party
- Who is liable for the tire blowout, the resulting car crash and damages (not necessarily the driver)
- Whether the tire was defective or there was another road hazard that caused the blowout
If Your Vehicle Had the Tire Blowout That Led to the Crash
If your vehicle had the tire blowout, it does not necessarily make you at fault. For instance, if the tire was defective, there was no way for you to know that. However, there are circumstances that could make you at least partially liable for a tire blowout crash, including if you:
- Failed to properly inspect and maintain your tires to help ensure against a blowout
- Drove while distracted or impaired, which affected your ability to react when the blowout happened
- Were speeding when the blowout occurred, which could have caused you to lose vehicle control and crash
Maryland follows a contributory negligence law that is extremely harsh toward drivers. If you are even one percent liable, you are fully barred from recovering compensation.
What if the Tire Blowout Crash Was Caused by Another Driver?
If another driver was negligent, you may have a claim against his or her insurance. However, even then, the accident investigator would determine whether you took reasonable steps to avoid colliding with the other vehicle. Insurance companies need only prove minimal liability, so they have incentive to shift some of the blame to you.
When Other Third Parties May Be Liable for a Tire Blowout Crash
There are situations beyond either your control or that of any other drivers involved. For example, if your tire was poorly designed and that design flaw contributed to the crash. In other cases, the faulty work of a mechanic who maintains your vehicle and tires may be liable for the damages.
How You Can Avoid Causing a Tire Blowout Crash
While there is no foolproof way to prevent a tire blowout, you can decrease the risk of one happening. Here are some of easy ways you can reduce your risk of having a tire blowout crash:
- Maintain your tires: Check your tire pressure and treads each month and replace tires when worn or old.
- Adhere to traffic laws: Follow posted speed limits, remain alert and never drive impaired or distracted.
- Do not overload your vehicle: If you are unsure how much weight your tires can handle, check with the manufacturer.
- Maintain proper tire pressure: Do not leave your tires under or overinflated.
Know How to Handle a Tire Blowout
Despite taking all precautions, something unexpected could cause your tire to blowout. If it does, you can take steps to keep control of your vehicle:
- Never slam on the brakes: Although this may feel like the thing to do, it can make matters worse. Instead, stay calm. Do not accelerate, but keep your foot on the gas pedal.
- Keep both hands on the wheel and steer straight: You will feel the car pull in one direction when it blows, but do not turn toward that pull. Instead keep steering straight.
- Gently press your gas pedal: Do not overaccelerate, but rather gently and only slightly accelerate to help you regain control. After gaining control, you can slowly take your foot off the gas pedal.
- Let the car slow down on its own: Once you get below 30 mph and you have control, put on your hazards and carefully get to an exit, parking lot, gas station or road shoulder.
- Call for roadside assistance: Remain in your car with your seatbelt on until help arrives. Be sure your hazard lights remain on and your vehicle is not sticking out or blocking traffic.
Contact Our Firm for Trusted Legal Help at No Risk to You
If you were involved in a tire blowout crash, regardless of how or why it happened, it is a good idea to seek legal advice. You can find out if you have a valid claim. There is no cost or legal obligation for this free case review. If you have a claim and hire an attorney, he or she can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Injured victims represented by a qualified attorney often recover significantly more compensation than those who do not.