Tire Failure: Are Tires More Deadly Now Than Ever Before (Part 2)?

In the last post about [tire failure fatalities] [GREG: add a link to Post #10 “Part 1” of the series] we introduced you to the studies conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) and The Safety Institute (“TSI”). According to the TSI, tired failure fatalities jumped nearly 11% between 2013 and 2014 in contract to NHTSA claims that such deaths have been reduced by 50% over the last twenty years.

What accounts for this discrepancy? Last post we told you the NHTSA only counts a death as “tire related” if it occurs in the actual vehicle that experienced the tire failure. TSI takes a more holistic view counting any deaths that result from crashes that were caused by tire failure. This includes the deaths of pedestrians and passengers of other vehicles affected by the car that experienced the tire failure.

TSI believes their accounting to present a more accurate picture of tire failure fatalities. They note that the NHTSA’s limited data set (a random sample of 5,000) and emphasis on counting only deaths that occurred in the vehicle experiencing the tire failure do not accurately represent the threat posed by tire failure. Also, the NHTSA data does not count crashes that happen off of the roadway or crashes for vehicles that are more than 10 years old.

According to TSI, the narrow approach adopted by the NHTSA has resulted in a significant under-reporting of tire failure fatalities. The result of this has been a de-emphasis on tire safety issues, which can be dangerous to the general public. The recommended nine points that the NHTSA should consider regarding tire failure that can make tires safer and help those affected by tire failure:

  1. Require tire dealers to register all tires sold.
  2. Create a voluntary database of tire sales and registration information.
  3. Connect tire sale registration to customer data so they can be notified immediately of any recalls.
  4. Require manufacturers to include ID numbers on both sidewalls of the tire.
  5. Require manufactures to post safety recall information on their website, searchable by ID number, brand and model.
  6. Include tire recall search features on manufacturer websites.
  7. Develop process to mitigate crash risks in aging tires.
  8. Develop documentation to educate industry professionals and consumers on tire aging issues, risks and best practices.
  9. Develop a unified safety plan to reduce tire related crashes that includes promotion of technological innovation and updated regulations as needed.

The issues presented in this series form the basis of NHTSA rulemaking and safety standards. Tire failures affect all drivers on the road and having the right policies in place can save lives. If you or someone you love has experienced injury or death from a tire failure, then call the law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free consultation. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.