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Tragic Fatal Rollover Crash Provides Warning about Importance of Tire Maintenance

November 12, 2013

When blowouts occur because tires are inadequately maintained, defectively manufactured or expected to travel an excessive number of miles, the consequences can be fatal collisions. The risk is especially serious when certain types of vehicles, such as those that have a high center of gravity like fully loaded tractor-trailers, SUVs and buses, are involved in a crash. A fatal tire blowout accident this month involving all three of these types of vehicles provides a tragic example of this danger.

The three vehicle crash caused the death of eight people and injury to fourteen other vehicle occupants. According to an ABC News affiliate, the accident occurred when a church bus suffered a tire blowout causing the driver to lose control. The bus crossed the center median and collided with an SUV and tractor-trailer that were traveling in the opposite direction. The fatal collision caused the bus to rollover and the tractor-trailer to burst into flames. The horrific tire blowout crash claimed the lives of six people on the bus and one each in the tractor-trailer and SUV.

The bus tire blowout accident is currently under investigation by law enforcement authorities who indicated that they would be examining the DOD inspection history, mechanical issues and qualifications of the bus driver according to the ABC report. While these types of bus crashes can actually be an unforeseeable accident, they often result from negligence by the driver and/or bus owner/operator, such as:

• Failure to inspect tires for tread wear or proper tire pressure
• Traveling on tires that have dry rot or sun damage
• Inexperienced bus drivers that lack proper experience or training
• Improper manufacturing or design of the tires that includes improper tread bonding
• Vehicles that are overloaded causing them to be top heavy

While the precise cause of this tire blowout accident is unknown, unfortunately blowout accidents involving church groups, sports teams, senior citizens and similar groups are not that uncommon when traveling in heavy loaded vehicles including 9-passenger vans and 15-passenger vans. These vans are prone to rollover if a tire blows out because of the seating configuration which makes the vehicle top heavy and can result in excessive weight behind the rear axle so that inertia forces the rear of the vehicle to move forward and swing to the side. This movement can cause a passenger van to rollover.

Whether you are traveling in a passenger van, SUV, lifted truck or other type of vehicle with a high center of gravity, the risk of a rollover accident makes tire maintenance a critical issue. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous because the risk of fatal injury is much higher than in an average collision. The federal government website reports that although only slightly over two percent of all collisions are rollover accidents, this type of collision accounts for more than a third of all traffic fatalities in passenger vehicle collisions.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You

If you or your family member is injured in a rollover collision, our auto accident attorneys in Atlanta at Montlick and Associates have been helping injury victims and their families for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.