Hot summer weather brings with it a host of complaints and health risks, but here’s one you might not have known about: Tire tread separation. This deadly defect was the cause of much controversy in the early 2000s, but while it hasn’t made as many headlines lately, it still causes accidents with alarming regularity. As a car accident lawyer in New Jersey, we’ve seen plenty of injuries caused by defective tires, and are here to give you the facts.
Tread Separation Can’t Be Predicted
Tread separation is not limited to products made by one manufacturer. All steel-belted radial tires are at risk for tread separation because it is inherently difficult to adhere steel to rubber. The risk of this damage occurring is especially high in hot weather and when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds.
The outcome of a tread separation–which invariably happens with little warning–can be utterly devastating. Since tread separation typically occurs at high speeds, drivers run the risk of severe injury. Often, drivers will react with a tread-separation induced blowout by braking and overcorrecting the steering wheel, but due to the tire damage and speed, the vehicle is nearly impossible to control. Instead of slowing the vehicle, this move usually causes a rollover.
Tragically, accidents caused by tread separation can easily lead to severe injuries like paraplegia, quadriplegia, spinal cord damage and the loss of limbs. Tread separation has also caused hundreds of fatalities.
Why Does Tread Separation Occur?
These types of accidents usually happen because of the inherent risk of rubber separating from steel, but tread separation can be caused by other defects that are directly the fault of the manufacturer. They include the contamination of tires by moisture or foreign objects, improper curing, using over-aged, dry rubber stock, using petroleum solvent on tire components or otherwise concealing defective tires from quality inspectors before they are placed on the market.
Tire companies in the past (and to this day), have argued that tread separation results from impact damage or underinflation, and is therefore the fault of the vehicle owner or of another third party.
Underinflation can exacerbate the risk of tread separation, but since all steel belted radial tires are prone to leaking air, underinflation is already an inherent risk. If you are in an accident as a result of tread separation, don’t assume that what a tire manufacturers tries to tell you is correct. Call the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C., immediately.
How Can an Attorney Help?
As a team of lawyers experienced in dealing with all types of auto accidents in NJ, the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C. are your ally in fighting for a settlement in the wake of an injury caused by tire tread separation. If you are involved in such an accident, make sure to present your attorney with as much documentation as possible, including the police report, insurance report and documentation of your injuries from your healthcare provider. As a firm experienced in product liability cases–the umbrella under which tire tread separation falls–we can perform the investigation and selection of expert witnesses necessary for making the strongest case possible.
If you are hurt and need help, contact us immediately so we can go to work for you. We help injured people get compensation and medical treatment so they can get back to health and their daily activities without having to deal with the insurance companies.