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Frequently Asked Questions about Tire Defects

Each year, about 23,000 crashes are caused by tire blowouts.

Since 1973, the attorneys of Sanders & Parks in Phoenix, Arizona have represented people locally and nationwide in cases involving injuries caused by automobile defects. Many of these cases involve defective tires. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by tread separation or any other form of tire defect, our lawyers can help you.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Tire Defects

Q: When is a tire recall necessary?

A: If the tire does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or there is a safety-related defect present in the tire than a tire recall like Continental's recent tire recall. There are minimum performance levels for tires that have been set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury.

Q: What is a tread separation?

A: A tread separation occurs because of the steel belted radial tire technology. A report that was released in October 2001 from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said that the tread separations studied in the Bridgestone/Firestone accidents reduced the ability of a driver to control the vehicle, especially when the tire failure occurred on a rear tire and at high speeds. There was a much greater likelihood for death, injury, and crashes resulting when the tread separation occurred on an SUV rather than a pickup truck.

Q How often should I check my tires?

A: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that consumers check their tires monthly and before going on any long trips.

Q: What should I check on my tires?

A: The NHTSA recommends that you check the following:

  • Tire pressure (including spare tire)
  • Make sure all valves have valve caps.
  • Inspect tread of tire for uneven wear, cracks, or foreign objects.

Q: What are some driving tips to maintain tire safety?

A: Drivers should observe the following safety measures:

  • Do not overload your vehicle. Remember that when you are towing a trailer, some of the weight from the loaded trailer is transferred to the towing vehicle.
  • Slow down when driving over potholes or objects in the road.
  • Do not run over or strike curbs.

Q: How can I find out how much air pressure I should have in my tires and what the maximum load is for my vehicle?

A: This information is located in the owner's manual or on a tire placard. These placards are permanent labels attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, interior of glove box door, or inside of the trunk lid.

Q: How do I check the tread on my tires to make sure they are not bald?

A: Tires have intermittently spaced raised indicators in the bottom of the tread grooves. It is time to replace your tires when these indicators appear even with the outside of the tread. You can also use a Lincoln penny to test the amount of tread you have left. Place the penny into the tread with Lincoln's head pointing down. If you can see all of his head, it is time to replace your tires.

Q: How can I find out which tires have been recalled?

A: There are two great resources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tire Recall, Child Passenger Safety, Crash Statistics, and Crash Test information NHTSA - Tire Recall Info at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/; and the Office of Defects Investigation Page at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm

Q: I was in an automobile accident and injured because of a defective tire. What can I do?

A: You may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer if the tire was really defective. A lawyer specializing in Personal Injury Law would be able to answer your questions.

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