Warning Signs a Tire is About to Blow Out
Tires are complex and involve far more than just rubber and air. Cars and trucks rely on a secure foundation to travel safely, especially at highway speeds. Tires heat up and expand while driving, changing shape slightly. However, when tires are defective or damaged, they may tear apart or explode. Catastrophic tire failure can cause serious car and truck accidents, especially for large vehicles traveling at highway speeds. The Alabama tire defect attorneys at The Morrison Law Firm explain warning signs of a blowout and dangers you should avoid for your own tires.
Signs of Dangerous Tire Defects
Tire experts recommend that you should never drive on a defective tire. Tires with clear problems run the risk of failing or blowing out, which can lead to serious car accidents and deadly truck crashes. If you notice signs of a defect in your tire, you should always seek to have the tire replaced rather than risk driving on it or getting it repaired improperly. However, sometimes the defective tire is someone else’s. If you are about to get into a car or bus with one of these defects, or if you notice the defect on another car or truck’s tires, you should avoid that vehicle to prevent a dangerous car or truck accident.
Many drivers may have seen bubbles on their car in the past or otherwise heard of the dangers of tire bubbles. These are one of the most common tire defects, affecting the sidewall of the tire. The tire wall is made of multiple layers of rubber and other materials, but it is not as thick as the tread section. Sometimes, due to improper inflation or overheating, the layers may separate or have internal holes that allow air to leak between the tire wall’s layers. At the site of a bubble, the rubber is stretched thin over the air pocket. This thin spot could suddenly pop, causing a tire blowout. Even if the tire does not blow out, it could suffer from a slow leak that could cause it to go flat during a long drive. Tire bubbles, if large enough, can easily be spotted on your own vehicle or even on other cars, especially while the car is stopped at a light or stop sign.
Tire sidewalls are quite thick, and the tread is even thicker. However, damage to a tire can reduce the structural integrity of the tire or cause thin spots that could blowout on the road. Scraping tires against curbs, bumping stationary objects, driving on rocky surfaces, and other driving could scrape or cut tires, potentially removing chunks of rubber. Other damage caused by intentional tire slashing or other problems may severely weaken tires, greatly increasing the risk of a blowout. Noticing this damage on another car while traveling might be difficult, but you could spot the damage if the vehicle slows or stops.
Excessive Tread Wear
While the tread is the thickest part of the tire, the tire’s tread is incredibly complex. Tire tread has bumps and ridges that help the tire grip the road better than a flat tire would. This is especially helpful on uneven or wet road surfaces. If your tire tread is too thin or the ridges lose their depth over time, the tire could become dangerous. This uneven or excessive wear can be caused by improper inflation, poor alignment, and other problems that could demonstrate your tire was a defective product. Noticing excess wear can be nearly impossible on another car, but you can test your own tires to ensure your tread wear is in good shape. You can measure the depth of the tire tread with a ruler, but you can also stick a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s going in first. If the shallowest ridge does not come up past the top of Lincoln’s head, you should probably replace your tires.
When driving on the highway, you may have seen trucks shedding layers from their tires or seen discarded scraps along the side of the road. Truck tires are considerably thicker than most car tires and are often constructed from more layers. Some trucking companies even re-tread older, worn tires by adding additional layers to the outside of older tires. This shedding usually occurs because tires are improperly inflated and suffer temperature changes at different rates. This can lead to a blowout if the tire loses enough tread and becomes too thin. While shedding tires are dangerous enough for other drivers, who could be hit by the debris, they are also an excellent sign that you should steer clear of that truck in case it suffers a more serious tire failure.
Our Alabama Tire Defect Attorneys Offer Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a tire blowout or other tire failure, contact our lawyers today. The Montgomery, Alabama personal injury lawyers at The Morrison Law Firm have decades of experience handling tire defect cases and other car accident and wrongful death lawsuits. For help with your case, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. Our number is (334) 625-6128.