NHTSA Safety Advisory Warns Drivers of Increased Risk of Tire Blowouts in Hot Weather
While there are many inconveniences posed by scorching summer weather, Georgia drivers may not realize that the high temperatures of July and August may also increase the risk of serious motor vehicle collisions. The hazard posed by blazing roadway surfaces is so significant that it has resulted in a safety advisory being released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The federal traffic safety agency issued the alert to apprise motorists of the risk of a tire blowout when under-inflated tires are exposed to the superheated surface of roadways. The agency warning indicates that extreme temperatures and hot asphalt can accelerate the deterioration of tires and result in an increased risk of a dangerous tire blowout when traveling at high speeds on the freeway.
The NHTSA has estimated that tire failure contributes to close to 11,000 motor vehicle accidents annually. The most common cause of tire blowout accidents involve inadequate tire inflation, bald tires and tread separation according to the federal agency advisory. Even when a tire does not actually blowout, the failure to conduct periodic tire inspections and to perform maintenance on worn or under-inflated tires may still increase a driver’s risk of being involved in a serious collision. When tires are not inflated to the appropriate amount of tire pressure, the vehicle may be more sluggish when steering in emergency situations and more difficult to slow or stop. According to the NHTSA, motorists who ensure that their tires are properly maintained can improve fuel efficiency, vehicle handling around hazards and stopping distances.
Motorists that navigate the highways and streets of Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia have an affirmative duty to inspect their vehicle and conduct reasonable vehicle maintenance to reduce the risk of collisions caused by brake failure, tire blowouts, non-functioning brake lights or turn signals and other equipment failure that may cause a collision. When the failure to perform appropriate vehicle maintenance causes a car accident in Georgia, the owner of the poorly maintained vehicle may be found financial responsible for causing the collision. When equipment failure plays a role in Atlanta motor vehicle crashes, other viable defendants also may include the vehicle manufacturer, auto repair or tire shop, vehicle owner, driver and/or others depending on the specific facts and circumstances.
If you or a loved one is involved in a collision where the other driver claims that mechanical failure made it impossible to avoid the collision, you may still be able to successfully pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim so you should seek legal advice.
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