Peter Catania | November 23, 2021 | Car Accidents
A tire blowout can happen without warning, causing a driver to lose control of the vehicle. These kinds of accidents can easily injure or kill people.
You may be completely unaware that your tire has a problem until it abruptly blows and you find yourself fighting to maintain control of the car.
Some tire blowout accidents are caused because of debris in the road, while others arise due to a lack of proper maintenance. Since Tampa, FL no longer has a law requiring car inspections, some drivers may not realize that their tires are in poor condition.
What Can Cause a Tire Blowout Accident?
Tire blowout accidents are caused in many different ways, with the most common factors, including:
- Nails and rocks
- Road debris
- Worn tires
- An overladen vehicle
We’ll explore each of these types of damage in detail below.
Nails and Rocks in the Road
Nails and rocks in the road can sometimes puncture the sidewall of a tire and cause it to lose integrity.
Sometimes, this type of puncture damage will simply cause the tire to deflate before you begin driving on the road. If the item that caused the puncture stays intact, it can be flung loose and cause the tire to blow while driving.
Road debris is another common cause of tire blowouts. Things fall off of vehicles or get blown about in the wind and become dangerous road hazards.
Sometimes, you may think you’ve swerved enough to miss the item that was in the road. Other times, you may not realize you’ve hit something until later. Hitting road debris can cause your tire to blow right away, but sometimes, you can drive several miles before the damage takes effect.
Potholes and Poorly Maintained Roads
Potholes are a major problem on some Tampa roads, but many people don’t realize that they are more than just a nuisance. They’re a safety hazard.
When a car tire drives over a pothole, it can damage the internal structure of that tire. The shape of the hole, the raggedness of the edge, and the speed at which you hit it can all play a role in how badly a tire is damaged.
Because of this, a tire may blow immediately or it may blow out later, just like when you hit road debris.
Worn tires are like any other part of a moving vehicle — they wear down and become less reliable with age. Tires are made of rubber, which is a pliable material. As rubber ages, however, it becomes less pliable.
If the rubber of car tires is so old as to become brittle, it makes them easier to crack and break with the movement of the vehicle. That is why it’s important to get your tires inspected regularly and replace any that have begun to show excessive age and wear.
Overladen vehicles are vehicles that are carrying too much weight for their capability. And when the vehicle is overladen, the tires are too.
All tires are rated to carry a specific amount of weight, just as vehicles are. And while a heavy-duty vehicle — such as a pickup truck, RV, or commercial truck — is able to handle much more weight than a small passenger car, each of these automobiles has its own limits.
If you put cheaper tires on a vehicle, those less expensive versions may not be capable of carrying the same amount of weight.
What Happens When a Tire Blows Out?
Tire blowouts happen in many different ways. Sometimes, the tire makes a loud sound that is very reminiscent of something exploding. At other times, pieces of the tire will begin shredding off as the tire is smoking. The driver might also simply hear a flapping sound as the car begins to slow.
Blowouts often cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. This is particularly true if one of the front tires blows, as it dramatically affects the steering capability. Larger and heavier vehicles may struggle to keep control of the vehicle regardless of which tire blows, simply because of their weight and size.
When blowouts are sudden, a driver may jerk the wheel and collide with another vehicle. They may be unable to safely move to the side of the road without rolling over. If pieces of a tire fly off, they may strike someone walking, causing a pedestrian accident.
Does My Insurance Cover Tire Blowout Accidents?
If you have a car accident caused by a tire blowout, there are several things your car insurance policy will cover, including property damages and personal injuries.
Florida state law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage of $10,000 for property damages and another $10,000 for personal injuries. This means that your insurance policy will pay for up to $10,000 in property damages to another vehicle. It will also pay up to $10,000 for your own personal injuries, whether you were at fault or not.
If you carry more than the minimum of insurance on your car, then your insurance company may also cover towing services, a rental car, repairs to your car, and so on.
If a vehicle is being used commercially for a taxi service or rideshare company, there are additional insurance requirements that might come into play.
Taxis and rideshare vehicles must also carry bodily injury liability coverage of $125,000 per person minimum or $250,000 per incident. The property damage coverage for a car used as a taxi is also higher at $50,000 per incident.
If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s tire blowing out, you may be entitled to compensation. Car accidents caused by tire blowouts can injure pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers on the road.
Whether the injuries are minor or severe, the person who had the tire blow is the at-fault party, and they may be liable for the related bills and expenses the accident caused. An insurance company may offer a flat amount of money to compensate you for your immediate vehicle damages, but that might not be enough to cover any follow-up medical procedures and care.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to consult a legal professional to seek the compensation that you need to cover your injuries and damages.