When you’re traveling down the road at highway speeds, a tire blow-out is uniquely terrifying and dangerous. Motorists are all responsible for maintaining their vehicles in safe and working order, but blow-outs can be caused by wide-ranging factors (many of which the driver has no control over). If a blow-out that was no fault of your own leaves you injured, reach out to an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney today.
Your Vehicle’s Tires
The common saying where the rubber meets the road references how essential our tires are to our overall ability to travel. Your tires tether your vehicle to the road, and they are your first line of defense when it comes to staying safe out there. When your tires are in excellent condition, it makes it easier to maneuver your car through traffic and to stop safely. Maintaining your tires in accordance with accepted protocols is essential to safe driving and is always in your best interest.
Blow-Outs Happen More Often in Warmer Months
As colder months segue into spring, we can expect more blow-outs on our roadways. As we begin to distance ourselves from the harsher effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are expected to get out and live a little, which is likely to include some road trips. Increasing the number of miles logged is closely associated with increased numbers of tire blow-outs. Other warm-weather factors that can contribute to increased blow-out rates include:
- Higher temperatures
- Faster speeds (that are less likely to be impeded by bad weather and are more likely to generate excess heat in tires)
- Vehicles that are more likely to be loaded down (as families head out for parts unknown with their luggage in tow, for instance)
As summer fast approaches, it’s important to recognize that the potential for dangerous blow-outs is also increasing.
Why Blow-Outs Happen
Blow-outs happen when a tire bursts and loses air instantaneously, often sending the vehicle on a dangerous course that is difficult if not impossible to control. If the tire’s air pressure was already low before bursting, it could cause it to overheat as it works in tandem with the vehicle. The excess heat can cause the tire’s outer rubber to disconnect from its steel cord reinforcement and internal fabric, blowing out in the process. Some of the most common causes of life-threatening blow-outs include:
- A tire that is damaged by impact, such as by running over something sharp and heavy, hitting a pothole at high speed, or sideswiping a curb
- A vehicle that is dangerously overloaded
- A small puncture that leads to a slow release of air and that culminates in a blow-out
- Tires that are underinflated (and, thus, become overheated) or any other cause of overheating
- Tires that are dangerously worn or that are poorly maintained
- Tires that have manufacturing defects or design flaws (including recalled tires that motorists aren’t made aware of)
Ultimately, if a tire is flexed beyond its design limits, it can blow. Typically, a blow-out is accompanied by a loud thumping noise, and your vehicle is likely to pull to one side.
If Your Tire Blows
Knowing what to do in the event of a blow-out is critical to your own safety and the safety of everyone else on the road. Even if you aren’t directly affected by another vehicle’s tire blow-out, you might be affected by the debris from that driver’s blow-out that’s left in the road. In other words, when it comes to tire blow-outs, there’s a lot to consider. All of the following are important steps to take if your tire blows:
- Immediately cease accelerating by removing your foot from the gas pedal smoothly.
- Focus your efforts on maintaining as complete control of the steering wheel and your car as you possibly can.
- Avoid the temptation to jerk on the steering wheel or hit the brakes in response. Doing so could make matters much more dangerous, and your car could spin out of control or even roll over.
- Do not employ your brakes unless you have your vehicle under complete control.
- When you’ve slowed your vehicle to under 30 miles per hour, pull over to the side of the road as safely and smoothly as you can.
Throughout this process, do your best to remain as calm as you possibly can (a tall order, we know) and keep the damaged wheel as straight as possible to avoid further damage to your vehicle and the tire’s rim. The most important safety tips overall include:
- Always maintain a safe speed behind the wheel.
- Always wear your seatbelt (and make sure all your passengers do the same).
- Always drive with your hands at 10 and 2.
- Adhere to all applicable maintenance schedules for your vehicle.
A blow-out can cause serious injuries and significant damages.
The medical expenses you experience as a result of a blow-out are likely to begin with emergency treatment and transportation, and from here, they can become extensive. For example, you could face surgery and hospitalization, treatment from doctors and specialists, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and much more.
If you’ve been seriously injured, you are also very likely to miss work and to lose earnings as a result. If your injury is very serious, it can translate to a downturn in your earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to the physical pain and suffering that can accompany accidents caused by tire blow-outs, there is the emotional pain and suffering to consider. The violence and terror associated with these dangerous accidents can lead to symptoms that include:
- Increased anxiety
- Bouts of depression
- Severe mood swings
- Emotional lability
- A tendency toward self-isolation
- Sleep disturbances
Any one of these can have far-reaching negative consequences in your life.
Look to an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney for the Help You Need
If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a tire blow-out accident, the accomplished car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina are here to help. Our more than 25 years of experience leave us well positioned and well prepared to help guide your claim toward its best possible resolution. Call us at 864-388-9100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.