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Who Is Liable for a Crash Caused by a Tire Blowout?

In the blink of an eye, a tire blowout can transform a routine drive into an extremely dangerous situation. That’s because tire blowouts can result in drivers immediately losing control over their vehicles and ending up in serious accidents.

Understanding who is liable in such scenarios is crucial, especially if you or a loved one are injured in a crash caused by a tire blowout. Proving liability requires first understanding what causes tire blowouts and knowing the different parties who may be responsible for the tires on a vehicle.

What Causes Tire Blowouts?

Although modern tires are designed to work well under stress, they can still burst when vehicles are in motion for a variety of reasons. These are some of the primary factors that can result in tire blowouts:

  • Under-Inflation: This is one of the leading causes of tire blowouts. Tires that are not inflated to the proper pressure can cause the tire to flex beyond its limits and overheat, potentially leading to a blowout. It’s important to regularly check and maintain the correct tire pressure.
  • Overloading: Vehicles have a maximum weight they can safely carry, which includes the vehicle itself, passengers, and cargo. Exceeding this limit puts extra stress on the tires, increasing the risk of a blowout, especially during hot weather or on long trips at high speeds.
  • Wear and Tear: Over time, tires wear down. Tread depth decreases, and the risk of punctures or failures increases. Bald tires are particularly susceptible to blowouts, as they have lost much of their original structure and strength.
  • Potholes and Road Hazards: Hitting a pothole, sharp object, or other road hazard can cause immediate tire damage or create a weak spot that leads to a blowout later.
  • Heat: Tire blowouts are more common in the summer months. High temperatures cause the air inside the tires to expand, which can lead to overinflation. Additionally, hot road surfaces can cause the tire tread to wear down more quickly and even contribute to tire failure.
  • Poor Maintenance: Failure to rotate tires, improper alignment, or not replacing tires when needed can lead to uneven wear or other issues that increase the risk of a blowout.
  • Defective Tires: Though less common, manufacturing defects can also lead to tire blowouts. These might be due to issues in the design, materials, or production process.
  • Tire Aging: Tires degrade over time, even if they are not used frequently. The rubber can become dry and brittle, leading to cracks and an increased risk of blowout.

The Vehicle Owner/Driver’s Responsibility

Oklahoma law requires drivers to maintain their vehicles in a safe, working condition. This includes regular inspections and maintenance of tires.

If a tire blowout is due to neglect, such as ignoring worn-out treads or not maintaining proper tire pressure, the vehicle owner or driver could be held liable for any resulting accidents. Remember, your responsibility on the road extends beyond driving safely; it includes vehicle upkeep as well.

The Role of Mechanics and Service Shops

Many Oklahomans entrust the care of their vehicles to professionals. If a tire blowout occurs shortly after service, the mechanic or shop may be investigated for playing a role in the crash.

Were the tires installed correctly? Was there a failure to notice or communicate about worn tires? Did the shop install used tires in place of new tires? In cases where improper service or negligence is evident, the mechanic or service shop might be liable.

Manufacturers and Product Liability

At times, the fault lies not in the use or maintenance of the tire but in its very construction. Tire manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe for use and under a variety of road and weather conditions.

If a tire blowout is due to manufacturing defects, design flaws, or failure to meet safety standards, the manufacturer might be held liable under product liability laws.

How Is Liability Determined in a Tire Blowout Crash?

Determining liability in a tire blowout accident in Oklahoma requires a thorough investigation. It’s about piecing together the story of the tire from its design and manufacturing to its installation, maintenance, and the moment of the blowout that caused the crash.

In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for a tire blowout. For example, a driver may be held partially liable if they failed to maintain their tire’s air pressure, and the shop that serviced their vehicle also may be held liable for failing to properly install the tire.

Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers

In the aftermath of a tire blowout crash, you might feel overwhelmed. Questions about insurance claims, liability, and compensation can create a lot of stress for you and your family. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we want to take some of the stress of the accident off your shoulders.

Remember, you’re not alone during this difficult time. If you’re facing the aftermath of a tire blowout accident that left you injured, reach out to our experienced Oklahoma City car accident attorneys for a free case review. Let’s discuss what happened, explore your options, and set you on the path to recovery and resolution.