How Tire Tread Issues Could Spell Accidents and Injuries

Five wheels lined up next to each other

If you are a careful drivers, then you undoubtedly remain vigilant for hazards and potential emergency situations on the road. You probably watch for debris, potholes, and water or ice. You probably also maintain a safe following distance, and watch out for other drivers who are weaving in and out of traffic or having trouble staying in their lane. However, even the carefullest driver may be susceptible to overlooking what is the major cause of many serious, even fatal accidents every year: worn out tires with dangerous treads.


As a tire ages it is prone to developing a variety of different problematic conditions which create danger on the road. The hazard that most people associate with worn tires is a worn-down, flat tread. This causes the tire to lose traction and may in turn reduce the vehicle’s ability to stop or turn safely, and could lead to frightening losses of control such as skids and hydroplaning.

However, another type of tire problem, the blowout, can be just as dangerous if not more so. That is because a tire blowout can happen at any time, not just while the driver is stopping or slowing down. Blowouts can lead to the same types of loss of control situations mentioned above and they also add an additional level of danger by creating road debris which might then cause a chain reaction of accidents at that time, or a later, subsequent accident when another drivers hits the blown out tire.


While many drivers understand the danger of a flat, worn-out tread, most don’t realize that an old or improperly maintained tire can create other, equally dangerous tread issues which lead to the types of blowouts discussed above. That is because as a tire ages the rubber begins to crack and become more prone to separating from the tread belt. Unfortunately this type of dangerous tire condition is not as readily obvious to the casual observer as a flat, or worn tread. In fact the tire tread itself may appear perfectly fresh, and new looking.


In addition to worn tire treads the following situations can make a tire’s rubber more likely to separate from the tire tread, causing a tire blowout:

Age – As the tire ages the rubber will naturally begin to degrade over time.

Weather – Heat makes tires wear out faster. There is also evidence that coastal weather is harsher on tires than inland weather.

Maintenance – Having tires properly inflated and rotated regularly will prolong their life, just as poor maintenance will accelerate their decline.

Use – Heavy use will naturally wear down the tire tread and may begin to damage the rubber. However, what people need to be aware of is that even unused tires may be dangerous and worn out if they are old or have been stored with exposure to heat and the weather.

Defects – Sometimes brand new tires are dangerous simply due to factory defects or design flaws. That is why it is so important to pay attention to tire recalls.


The bad news is that even if you are aware of the factors which endanger your tires, and by extension your own safety, and even if you do everything possible within your control to prevent tire-related accidents, you may still end up in one. That is of course because you have no control over what other drivers are doing with their own tires. However, you may have legal recourse depending on the situation.

  • If you experience a tire-related accident due to a tire a dealer or mechanic sold you, you may be able to sue if the tire was advertized as new and is later discovered to have been pre-used.
  • If the tire is one that came on your vehicle and if it is still under warranty, you may have a case against the manufacturer who sold you the faulty tire.
  • If you are in a tire-related accident with a commercial vehicle, such as an 18-wheeler, you may have a case against the trucking company for not properly maintaining the tire.

Much will depend on your particular circumstances and the events surrounding the accident. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in accident litigation if you feel that you have been wronged and want to learn more about your legal rights. At Dugas Law Firm we are committed to winning justice for all accident victims, including those involved in tired-related accidents.

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