Tire Failure and Tread Separation in Dallas

When the tread of a tire separates from the casing or body of the tire, it is known as tread separation. This can be a very dangerous situation if it occurs when a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, and it commonly results in car accidents. To make matters worse, the problem occurs more often in steel belted radials, and the majority of the tires found on cars, light trucks and SUVs are steel-belted radials. Tread separation that results in tire failure can be caused by many different factors.

Manufacturer’s Defects

One of the most common causes of tire failure and tread separation is manufacturing defects. These can be caused by errors in the chemical processing or improper bonding of the tread to the steel-belted section of the tire. As the tire wears, it will begin to show evidence of an out-of-balance condition, or a bump may form in the tread. When a bump in the tire tread is evident or when drivers notice abnormal vibrations, the tire should be taken to a tire repair shop for inspection and replacement in order to avoid tread separation while the vehicle is being driven.

Weather Conditions

A study conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that weather conditions also have bearing on the incidence of tire failure and tread separation. In southern states, including Texas, almost 2 percent of light trucks and just over one percent of cars experienced tire failure during the summer months, compared to less than one percent for both types of vehicles in winter months (http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/upgradetire/econ/tireupgradeiii.html).

Improper Maintenance

Over or under inflation of tires can cause accelerated wear, which can lead to tire failures and tread separation. In addition, improper driving, such as hitting potholes at too high of a rate of speed, can also cause tread separation. Tires are rated for a certain number of miles, and driving beyond that rating can also increase the risk of tire blowouts or tread separation.

Dangers of Tread Separation

Tread separation often causes tire blowouts, and when this occurs at a high rate of speed, drivers often lose control of the vehicle. The loss of control can be caused by friction or braking as the pieces of tread strike the vehicle, or, in the case of a rear tire blow out, the direct result of braking action that overcorrects the skid of the vehicle. Often the blowout occurs so quickly that it is impossible to handle the vehicle, and this could lead to a rollover event, especially in higher profile vehicles, such as SUVs. In 2000, during the Firestone tire recalls, many Ford Explorer drivers experienced just such accidents when tire treads separated, causing the vehicles to overturn.

The most common cause of tire tread separation and failure, however, are due to manufacturer defects. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident in which tire failure or tread separation was determined to be a factor, contact a qualified attorney to learn what rights you may have regarding injuries sustained as a result of the tire failure.