The California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued a sig alert last week when a Ford F-150 landscaping truck, had a tire blowout on the 57 freeway near Brea. The workers were traveling about 75mph on worn, bald tires. Fortunately in this incident, no one was injured but in another incident this week, five people were injured; one critical.
The accident occurred on Interstate 10 near Indio. CHP had reported that the car was carrying five passengers and all were injured after the tire blowout, then the car flipped over. All five victims were trapped until the fire department rescued them. In addition to the one critical passenger, two had moderate and two had minor injuries. All were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Investigations are ongoing to the cause of the blowouts. It is unknown whether there was a defect in the tire or whether the motorist did not perform regularly scheduled maintenance.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 400 fatalities occur each year due to tire failures. Additionally, several thousand more are injured. Preventative tire maintenance is the key to preventing roadside breakdowns or worse, a serious accident. As an Orange County Auto Accident Lawyer, we are frequently asked to help victims of worn or defective tires. Any tire blowout at higher speeds can cause erratic and sometimes deadly accidents.
Before the busy summer driving season, The Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA, is announcing that June 6-12, is National Tire Safety Week. It is a gentle reminder that it only takes a few minutes a month to observe and maintain your tires.
Maintaining appropriate tire pressure for your vehicle, checking tread wear and rotating your tires regularly are three most important factors of tire safety.
Since over 50% of gas station’s pressure gauges do not work, investing in your own gauge is crucial to checking and maintaining good tire pressure. Tires naturally lose air over time so experts recommend monthly checks to verify compliance with your owners manual’s recommendations.
Proper tire tread provides traction and gripping on the highway, especially on wet and icy roads. Tires have built in tread wear indicators that let you know when to change your tires. When these spaced sections appear even with the outside of the tread, it’s time to replace your tires. Another quick trick is to put a penny upside down, with Lincoln’s head facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to change those tires.
Lastly, rotating your tires every 5,000 miles will help preserve the longevity of your tires and help them to wear evenly. Signs that your tires are out of balance are veering to the right or left and unknown vibrations or shaking. If you change the tires yourself, check your owner’s manual for the proper procedure; for example, in a front-wheel drive vehicle, the front tires go to the rear and the rear tires are transferred diagonally; right rear goes to the left forward tire, etc. In the case of a four-wheel drive vehicle, it is the opposite. Rear wheels got o the front and front are transferred diagonally rearward.
For more information on National Tire Safety Week visit a local AAA branch for a free brochure, “Be Tire Smart: Play Your Part. Additionally this brochure is available for download at www.rma.org/.
You can rely on an Orange County auto accident lawyer for assistance on this or any other matter by calling 1 866 981-5596. Sometimes just knowing your rights is all that you need. Other times, you may actually need representation. In either case, feel free to call, and rest assured, we will never charge for a consultation.