Drivers are expected to ensure that their vehicles are safe and mechanically sound, which is why they should make sure that their tires are properly inflated and check them for bulges, abrasions and cuts on a regular basis. This is particularly important during the summer months as high temperatures can cause underinflated tires to burst without warning, which is why the period between May and October is referred to as “blowout season” by first responders in Georgia and around the country.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tire defects cause about a thousand accidents each month and claim hundreds of lives each year. Tire blowouts can be extremely alarming because they often occur at highway speeds. Drivers who find themselves in this situation should ease off the gas and maintain a straight line if they can. They should then wait until their vehicles slow to a speed of 25 mph before applying their brakes. Vehicles tend to pull to one side after a tire failure, so drivers may have to steer in the opposite direction to remain on the roadway.
Dade County tragedy
Braking immediately is a mistake as it can cause vehicles to flip over. This is what appears to have happened on the morning of Feb. 25 after one of the front tires of a recreational vehicle failed on Interstate 59 near Rising Fawn in Dade County. When Georgia Highway Patrol troopers arrived at the scene, they found the RV flipped onto its side. A woman who was traveling in the front passenger seat was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial reports indicate that she was ejected from the vehicle.
Duty of care
When motor vehicle accidents are caused by defective safety equipment, underinflated tires or shoddy repairs, people who are harmed may pursue civil remedies. This is because drivers owe all other road users a duty of care to do all that they reasonably can to avoid crashing. In these situations, experienced personal injury attorneys could use police reports, maintenance records and the results of vehicle inspections to establish that this duty of care was not met.