How safe are your tires? Not very, according to a recent study by The Safety Institute.
The most recent reliable statistics show an alarming rise in tire-related car accident death rates, while other kinds of crashes involving passenger vehicles have remained relatively stable.
The Safety Institute—a non-profit organization that emphasizes injury prevention and product safety—has found that tire safety issues have historically been overlooked and underappreciated, and part of the reason involves the method by which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) evaluates its data.
Recent accident analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board—using the same analytical process as The Safety Institute—resulted in a number of recommendations to the federal government designed to increase tire safety. These include:
- Require tire manufacturers to put safety recall information for their tires on their websites in a format that is easily searchable and readable.
- Develop a tire safety action plan to reduce tire-related crashes with technological innovation.
- Determine the level of crash risk associated with tire aging.
The last recommendation is particularly important. Many consumers do not realize that the tires they purchase are often several years old, having been stored in warehouses, simply sitting on shelves. By the time an aged tire is sold, the quality of the rubber has degraded, and the tire is at risk to fail (even if it has good tread). Yet tires do not have a real expiration date, and many sellers will not tell you the age of the tires.
In fact, it’s impossible for the consumer to even know the age of their tires unless they have the key to decipher the complex markings embossed on the sidewall. Experts, including manufacturers, agree–older tires, even if never used before, are substantially more-likely to fail than newer ones.
To determine the age of your tires, look at the Tire Identification Number. Since the year 2000, that number is on the outside of each of your tires and begins with DOT, followed by a series of usually 11 or 12 numbers and letters. The last four numbers in the sequence will tell you the week, and year, of manufacture.
Older tires, even if hardly used on the road, are at particular risk to “detread,” which often leads to serious car accidents. Loss of the tread = loss of control.
During a lawsuit, tire manufacturers will argue that a consumer should never drive a tire over 6 years old, no matter how good the tread. But at the same time, the manufacturers have resisted having and enforcing a real expiration date on which to pull old tires from the market. When milk goes bad, it is bad. The same is true for tires.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by tire failure such as tread separation, give Rasansky Law Firm a call at 1-877-405-4313. We’ll explain the legal options available to you moving forward, as well as how we may be help you recover the money you deserve for your injuries.
Speak With Our Auto Accident Lawyers For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.