Tire blowouts can be a frightening experience and happen for numerous reasons. You may have hit an object, pothole or another hazard on the road that caused your tire to get damaged and rupture. A tire blowout can also lead to a crash, resulting in serious injuries.
Seeking compensation can be challenging if an insurance company refuses to cover your damages from a tire blowout. This is why it is important to understand your rights. See how a Windsor-based auto crash lawyer at our firm may be able to help you during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation.
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Handling a Tire Blowout on the Road
In a tire blowout, focus on keeping control of your vehicle and maintaining vehicle balance. Remain calm and try not to panic or overreact. Braking hard or jerking the vehicle can put you in serious harm. Be sure to:
- Keep the steering wheel steady – Grip the steering wheel with both hands to maintain control of your vehicle. You do not want to veer off the road or into oncoming traffic.
- Refrain from hitting the brakes – You do not want your vehicle to lose its balance. Any sudden change in movement can make it more difficult to safely get to the shoulder or off the road.
- Gradually slow down your speed – Slowly lift your foot from the gas pedal so that you can decelerate without braking. You can also let your vehicle slow down naturally as you pull over.
- Turn on your hazard lights – Once you have safely moved off the road, turn on your hazards lights to warn other drivers passing by that you are experiencing an emergency situation.
Numerous Reasons for a Tire Blowout
A tire blowout happens when the tire pops due to internal pressure and may be accompanied by a loud explosive sound. The rubber tread layer of the tire becomes separated from the rest of the tire.
A common reason for tire blowouts is due to underinflation. Insufficient air pressure – especially in changing temperatures – can cause a tire to sag and the rubber to flex beyond its elastic limits. This can lead to the rubber overheating, losing its bond to the internal fabric and steel reinforcement.
Wear and Tear
Old and worn out tires can result in a tire blowout. Be sure to replace your tires if the tread is thinning out. Rotate your tires and get an alignment done routinely to help avoid excess wear on your tires.
Tires have certain weight restrictions. Overloading your vehicle can cause unwanted pressure on your tires. If you have uneven tread wear on your tires, the extra weight can cause a tire to rupture.
Gravel, rocks and other debris on the road like glass or nails can damage your tires. Hitting a large pothole or object on the road – especially at high speeds – may cause an abrupt tire blowout.
Auto Insurance Coverage for Tire Blowouts
A standard Ontario auto insurance policy will not cover a tire blowout. Comprehensive insurance is one of many types of coverage that you can add to an existing policy. It is not mandatory for drivers.
It can help cover the cost of damages to your vehicle if you are involved in an incident not caused by a crash. You may be eligible if your tire was blown out because you hit an object or animal in the road.
Having comprehensive insurance, however, does not guarantee coverage for a tire blowout. If the tire blowout caused damage to your vehicle, that damage may be covered by your auto insurance. If there was only damage to your tire and not your vehicle, it is often not considered a covered circumstance.
Potential Liable Parties for a Tire Blowout
If you suffered serious injury and significant vehicle damage due to a tire blowout through no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the negligent party or parties responsible for your damages.
Owner of the Vehicle
Vehicle owners have a duty to ensure that proper vehicle maintenance is performed. If a tire blowout caused you harm in a crash because the tire was underinflated, liability may lie with the vehicle owner.
A Tire Retailer
A tire retailer may be to blame if they knowingly sold a damaged tire or sold an old or used tire as new. Tire retailers must comply with tire recalls and can also be liable if they continue to sell recalled tires.
An Auto Repair Shop
An auto repair shop could be to blame if a tire was installed incorrectly or the wrong tire was mounted to the vehicle. Any of these scenarios can cause a tire to rupture, pop out and/or can lead to a serious crash.
The Tire Manufacturer
Manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe and effective to use. The tire manufacturer may be liable if the tire was defective or poorly designed and it lead to a tire blowout on the road.
A Government Entity
If a tire blowout was caused by poor road conditions, the government entity that designed that road or the agency that is responsible for maintaining the road could be liable.
Years of Experience Advocating for Victims
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