What is tire tread separation? Tread separation is a serious condition of the tire characterized by a detachment of the tire’s tread from the casing. Some tires are more prone to a tread separation, such as those found on vehicles that travel an extensive amount of miles or through rugged terrain. In a tread separation, the tread peels off the tire, preventing the vehicle from gripping the road properly.
When a tire tread separates while a vehicle is in operation, a full loss of vehicle control usually occurs, significantly increasing the likelihood of a car crash or a rollover accident. Not only is this a danger to the vehicle’s driver but other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well.
Signs that your tires are experiencing a tread separation include:
- Vibration while driving
- Bump or bulge on tire
- Sidewall irregularities
- Uneven wear on tire treads
Causes of tread separation may include:
- Improper inflation of the tire
- Driving over potholes or other large objects
- Inadequate flat repair
- Excessive wear and tear (exceeding recommended mileage on a tire)
- Manufacturer’s defect
Who is Liable for your Accident and Injuries?
In the case of a manufacturer’s defect, you may have a product liability claim to make against the company that produced the faulty tire that lead to your accident. Tire tread separation caused by a defect in the manufacturing process is a rare occurrence but one that can cause a catastrophic auto accident and severe injuries nonetheless. Tread separation accidents oftentimes lead to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 200 people die each year in the United States due to tire-related crashes.
A tire defect can be the result of a design error, faulty manufacturing process, or an issue with the shipping of the tires to distributors. People injured in a crash caused by a defective tire are entitled to compensation for the losses they incurred, including pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages.
If you were involved in an accident that you believe was due to a defective tire, it is important to preserve the tire if at all possible. Our firm retains a host of experts that can help determine if the tire was manufactured properly or if it contained defects causing a tread separation. This evidence can be vital in proving your case and achieving the maximum compensation possible.
Past Tire Recalls in the United States
Here are a few of the largest and deadliest tire recalls in the United States since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was instated in 1978:
- Firestone 500 Steel Belted Radial Tires (1978)
- 14.5 million tires recalled due to tread separation
- Thousands of accidents, dozens of deaths linked to defective tires
- Bridgestone Corporation Firestone Tires (2000)
- 5 million tires recalled
- 46 deaths linked to recalled tires
- Goodyear Silent Armor Tires (2012)
- 41,000 tires recalled
- 2 reported deaths linked to recalled tires
- Foreign Tire Sales (2007)
- 255,000 Chinese-made tires recalled
- Tires lacked safety feature that prevented tread separation
Injured in Auto Accident Caused by a Tire Defect?
If you believe that you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to a tread separation or other tire defect, contact a Thomas J. Henry lawyer. If a tire failure is caused by a manufacturer’s defect, an injured victim has cause to bring a product liability claim against that manufacturer.
These cases can be complex and require extensive resources to prove that a defect caused your accident and subsequent injuries. At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys are experienced in handling these types of cases and have a track record of winning these cases for our injured clients. Your choice matters when it comes to hiring a lawyer to represent you.