Bad Tires Can Cause Accidents with Injuries

 In Louisiana Car Wrecks

Serious accidents with personal injury and fatalities have occurred as a result of cars and trucks suffering tire blow outs or skidding out of control due to poor tire maintenance.  The vehicle accident attorneys at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette conducted some research on tire safety and found some disturbing data. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:

  • ­ Drivers in the United States put more than 2,969 billion miles on their tires
  • ­There are nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes and
  •  ­Almost 200 people will die in those crashes

Shockingly, only 19% of consumers properly check and inflate their tires. Fortunately, vehicles made after 2007 have a tire pressure monitoring system that alerts the driver when tire pressure is significantly low. Here is an alarming statistic: One in four cars has at least one tire that is significantly under-inflated.

So what does all this mean? That accidents caused by one’s failure to maintain their tires, including blowouts are preventable. Be sure and have your tires checked regularly for rubber breakdown, which is accelerated by sunlight and heat.

Here in South Louisiana, we have a lot of sun and high temperatures, so we are at a higher risk for wear and tear on tires. You should have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. It’s just responsible driving. And it will save you money – an estimated 10-cents a gallon. Under-inflated tires, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lowers gas mileage by 3/10 of a percent for every 1 pound per square inch drop in pressure.

So, what if you are driving on the interstate and suffer a blowout?

First and foremost, stay calm. According to the National Safety Council, Follow these tips:

At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the steering wheel firmly snd

  • Don’t slam on the brakes.
  • Let the car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
  • Work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or, if possible, toward an exit.
  • If it is necessary to change lanes, signal your intentions to drivers behind and do so smoothly and carefully, watching your mirrors and the traffic around you very closely.
  • Steer as your vehicle slows down. It is better to roll the car off the roadway (when you have slowed to 30 miles per hour) and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end or side collision from other vehicles.
  • When all four wheels are off the pavement—brake lightly and cautiously until you stop.
  • Turn your emergency flashers on.
  • Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know that you need help.
  • Don’t stand behind or next to your vehicle. If possible, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
  • All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special “call-for-help” phones. If you have a cell phone you can call right from the roadside. It is inadvisable to walk on a multi-lane highway. However, if you can see a source of help and are able to reach it on foot, try the direct approach by walking but keeping as far from traffic as possible.

Louisiana Laws

The Louisiana Legislature enacted laws to penalize drivers whose vehicles have poorly maintained tires…

TITLE 32 — Motor vehicles and traffic regulation
RS 32:362 — Restrictions as to tire equipment

  1. Every solid rubber tire on a vehicle moved on any highway of this state shall have rubber on its entire traction surface at least one inch thick above the edge of the flange of the entire periphery of the rim of the wheel.
  2. No tire on a vehicle moved on a highway shall have on its periphery any protuberances of any material, other than rubber, which projects beyond the thread of the traction surface of the tire, except that it shall be permissible to:

(1) Use farm machinery with tires having protuberances which will not injure the highways; and

(2) Use tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle, when required for safety because of conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid.

  1. The department may issue emergency permission authorizing the operation upon the highways of traction engines or tractors having movable tracks with transverse corrugations upon their periphery, or farm tractors or other farm machinery or instruments of husbandry.
  2. No person shall operate or move on any highway of this state any motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer having any metal tire in contact with the highway.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell or trade, or knowingly use any motor vehicle tire not in compliance with Sub-section A of this Section; or to sell, offer to sell, or trade, or knowingly use any motor vehicle tire the original tread of which has been worn, and which without additional treading being added, has been grooved so as to give the appearance of a new tire or a tire which has been recapped. Any person violating the provisions of this Sub-section upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars or thirty days in jail for the first offense and, a fine of two hundred fifty dollars or three months in jail, or both, for a second offense, and for a third or subsequent offense, shall be fined five hundred dollars and shall be imprisoned for six months in jail.

In Louisiana, The Department of Transportation and Development has a Motorist Assistance Patrol that can provide you with the following free services:

  • Provide one gallon of fuel
  • Change a flat tire
  • Jump start car
  • Fill radiator with water
  • Provide the use of a cellular phone so you can make a local call for additional assistance if needed

DOTD assists motorists and improves traffic flow through its contracted MAP service. Providing free services to stranded motorists in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Shreveport-Bossier City, Alexandria, and Northshore.  MAP both reduces traffic congestion caused by stalled vehicles and provides safety and comfort to those stranded.  In Lafayette, the service is offered:

Lafayette Construction Patrol Area

7 days a week; 24 hours per day

Project No. H.003003 I-10: E. Jct. I-49 to La. 328

Project No. H.003014 I-10: La. 347 to Atchafalaya Fldwy Br

I-10 – From I-49 to La. 3177

According to DOTD, If you become stranded and need assistance from the Motorist Assistance Patrol, contact your local law enforcement. In an emergency situation, dial 911.

The law offices at Joseph Joy and Associates have experienced lawyers well versed in personal injury and traffic law, who can protect your interests. Should you or a loved one suffer injury due to someone else’s negligence in a car accident, call us at  (337) 232-8123. Your first consultation is free

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