There are inherent risks when getting behind the wheel of a car. Road conditions, environmental factors and other motorists can make driving a potentially dangerous endeavor, no matter how many precautions you take.
While slippery roads, poor signage, or a distracted driver can all cause car accidents, vehicle malfunctions can also lead to dangerous situations on the road, which is why you should frequently check your brakes, fluids and tires.
Tire defects a factor in traffic accidents
Americans drove roughly 3.2 trillion miles in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Over the course of all that driving, worn-out tires were cited as a contributing factor in 738 traffic fatalities by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FAIRS), which provides data on automobile-related fatalities to the NHTSA and the U.S. Congress.
Worn-out, under-inflated, and improperly rotated tires are more likely to go flat or blow out on the road. According to the NHTSA, it is estimated that less than 20 percent of all drivers properly maintain their tires (even though inflating your tires can improve your car's gas mileage - and save you thousands of dollars over the course of your car's lifetime).
Of the millions of vehicles on the road, many drivers don't monitor their tires. A 2014 NHTSA study of 11,500 vehicles found that nearly half of those cars, trucks, vans and SUVs had at least one tire with half-worn tread, while one out of every ten of those vehicles had at least one bald tire.
Signs to watch out for
When we first start driving, many people learn the penny test as a way of telling if your tires have adequate tread on them. The penny test is simple: if you can see the top of President Lincoln's head, you need to replace your tires.
Tire warranties typically provide coverage for a set period or a certain number of miles. For seasonal tires, treadwear warranties - coverage lasting until a certain amount of rubber is worn off the tire (say, 2/32 of an inch) - is more common, as these tires are only on a vehicle for a few months each year.
Still, defective tires do occasionally find their way into stores. Not all of them receive recalls from the manufacturer and some may fail before their warranty has expired.
If you have been involved in an auto accident as a result of a defective tire, do not hesitate to contact Salomone & Morelli. As experienced Connecticut personal injury attorneys, we will work tirelessly to hold a manufacturer accountable for any injuries you have suffered, and we will not rest until you recover the damages which you are entitled to.