Many people need their car every day to do various chores. From commuting to grocery shopping to road trips, cars are generally a necessity rather than a luxury. A general rule for all vehicle owners is proper vehicle care or maintenance. Cars and every other vehicle need constant check-ups and tune-ups. Failure to perform any routine check or car part replacement could lead to a severe accident. One of the most dangerous car accident hazards is tire dry rot. If you drive a car with bad tires, you will likely face a car accident. The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm explain more about dry rot dangers and the possible results of a tire failure accident.
What is Tire Dry Rot?
Tire dry rot is the deterioration of a tire due to the passage of time. Wearing and tearing is common on car tires. However, dry rot can also happen due to a product defect. Some of the main causes of dry rot include the following:
- Wear and Tear: Tire wear-and-tear is common, especially when driving a car for long distances or extended periods of time. Frequent use of a vehicle can cause tires to break down and tear slowly.
- Excessive Heat: Excessive heat can exert pressure over a tire. Much of a tire’s chemical components can evaporate when exposed to heat, drying and cracking it over time.
- Seasonal Changes: Exposure to heat is not the only possible cause for dry rot. Exposure to seasonal changes (ice, rain, etc.) could also lead tire dry rot.
- Low Tire Pressure: Driving a car with low tire pressure can exert additional pressure on the tire wall, weakening the tire. Driving on low-pressure tires can accelerate the spread of dry rot over time.
While these are not the only causes for tire dry rot, they illustrate some of the reasons that can make it happen.
How Can I Identify Dry Rot Signs on My Car Tires?
Drivers should always be on the lookout for dry rot signs. As mentioned before, dry rot is very dangerous and could cause a serious or fatal car accident. You can identify dry rot by observing your tire’s appearance. Dry rot in vehicle tires is characterized by minor, medium, or wide cracks on the tire’s side walls, tread, shoulder, or grooves. For instance, when exposed to excess heat, tires can develop cracks that could expand, compromising the tire’s physical structure. When the tire’s physical structure is compromised or damaged, it could explode, putting the driver and those around him or her in danger of serious or life-threatening injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that 19,000 accidents occurred in 2015 where tires were a contributing factor. Additionally, the NHTSA reported more than 700 motor vehicle fatalities in 2016 where tire malfunction was a contributing factor. The data published by the NHTSA shows how dangerous tire defects can be and how they contribute to the occurrence of hazardous and sometimes fatal car accidents.
Can I Sue a Manufacturer for a Defective Tire?
While dry rot is caused by many different factors such as weather, tire defects can also be attributed to an error in their manufacturing. Whenever a manufacturer places defective products on the market, they are liable for any injuries their product may cause. Consumers who are injured by an auto defect can hold the manufacturer responsible for their damages through a product liability claim. In a product liability claim, the consumer can sue for manufacturing defects, design defects, or lack of adequate instructions or warning signs on the product. A design defect or a manufacturing defect in a tire could lead to a car accident.
The victim of a defective tire car accident could file a product liability claim for either a flaw in the design or in the manufacturing of the tire. In some instances, a person filing a product liability claim based on a manufacturing defect could opt for a strict liability claim. For this type of liability claim, a consumer only needs to demonstrate that the product was defective, and, as a result of its defect, he or she was injured.
One of the most critical parts of a product liability claim is determining who is responsible for your injuries. Multiple parties could be at fault for your accident, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case and the extent of your injuries. Holding every responsible party liable for your damages is crucial to obtain the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Car Accident Lawyers Representing Victims of Defective Products in Philadelphia
With over more than 90 years of combined experience, we have the necessary knowledge and skills to handle your personal injury case. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, call the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000.