The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found there are more than 8,000 traffic accidents every year resulting in death or serious injuries due to tire failure. While some tire failures may have been prevented because of driver errors, some tire failures are the direct result of a manufacturing defect or design defect. Some tire manufacturers have known about the dangers of the tires for years but have failed to properly warn the consumers of the risks. Experts have attributed tires in the U.S. to be the worst in the world.
Tire failures can occur when there is a high-speed spin-off failure, happening when one of the two rear wheels is stationary and the other wheel can spin without restraint due to a design defect. Ozone cracking is an uncommon tire failure, but small cracks on the rubber's surface due mainly to atmospheric ozone breaks down tire sidewalls. Manufacturing defects are normally to blame in cases of ozone cracking.
Tire failures can be prevented with the proper maintenance, but in some cases tire failures are hard to detect because of a manufacturing or design flaw. By knowing what to look for you may be able to prevent unnecessary injuries. For instance, signs to be aware of are:
- Cracks in the sidewalls
- Tire vibration, indicating a misalignment, etc.
- Tread is unevenly worn down, indicating improper inflation, etc.
- Tread is very worn down
- Sidewall has bugles, indicating weakened areas