When was the last time you had your car’s tires inspected by a mechanic or other individual knowledgeable about their structure? If you are like the average driver in Chicago, it has probably been too long since you gave serious thought to your tires, but that could be a major mistake. Vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007 must be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems but many of the cars on the roads today are older than this date and therefore are unlikely to have any type of aid to assist motorists in determining whether their tires are in a good and safe condition.
Tires that are improperly inflated, overused, old, worn, or of an incorrect style for the type of driving done can pose a threat to the safety of all passengers inside that car. Experts agree that failing to maintain tires in an appropriate manner makes a car accident much more likely as those tires can blow out, fail, or even disintegrate. Yet in other instances, tires may have an inherent flaw or a faulty design that makes them fail no matter how they are maintained by a driver. Regardless of the cause of a tire failure, victims who are hurt in these car accidents should know that they may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages.
The victims of collisions that happen in Chicago or nearby have the right to bring a civil claim for their damages in a court of law. This can help them obtain payment for things like pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, or the loss of a normal life and can vary from one collision to the next. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you realize your options for relief and whether you have a valid claim, but note that you must act within a time period set by law or you will be barred from receiving relief.
Tires are such a potential threat to safety that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study in 2012 on tire issues that occurred in a pre-crash phase, meaning that a tire problem happened before a subsequent impact or a collision with another object. This means that tires that failed, blew out, or disintegrated after a collision happened were not considered.
The biggest factors identified in the study and linked with pre-crash problems were the inflation of tires and tire tread depth. NHTSA concluded that underinflation of tires is a significant issue and that when a tire is 25 percent or more underinflated, the tire is three times as likely as a properly inflated tire to be blamed for a crash or other car incident. Similarly, tires that were worn and had a tire tread depth ranging from 0 to 2/32″ were approximately three times as likely to fail as tires with a tread depth between 3/32 and 4/32″.
Not only were tires that were underinflated or too worn likely to cause a collision, but the study concluded that when a crash happened, the vehicles carrying those tires were more likely to roll over than were cars involved in a different type of accident. This was primarily true among SUVs, a type of vehicle that is prone to roll over incidents when conditions are right.
Taken in whole, it is clear that maintaining tire integrity and monitoring the pressure of all tires on a vehicle are critically important to the safety of a car’s passengers.
If you were involved in an accident where one or more vehicles had a tire blowout or tire failure and you were injured, call the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for help. We offer a free case consultation without obligation to all victims in Illinois and we have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575.
Combined, our attorneys combined have decades’ worth of experience representing injury victims and if you were harmed, we want to represent you as well. We will keep everything discussed during the consultation confidential and if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
If tragedy strikes, think Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us help you get the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
When Wrongful Death Claims are Available in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 4, 2016.