What Causes Blowouts and How to Prevent Them from Happening

tire blowouts, auto accidentTire blowouts are an unanticipated frustration for many drivers, but there are several factors that lead to tire failures that can be prevented. The peak season for tire blowouts runs from around mid-May to early October and Mainor Wirth typically comes across an increased number of auto accident cases involving tire failures during this period.

The increase in tire blowouts during these months is likely because this is usually the hottest time of year and people drive faster and farther in heavily loaded vehicles. However, tire blowouts can occur at any time, particularly in locations like Las Vegas where it’s warm year-round.

Besides increased heat and heavy loads, other factors that contribute to blowouts include:

Under-inflated Tires

The most common cause of tire blowouts is under-inflation. Air enables tires to carry the weight of the vehicle and the cargo or passengers it contains. Insufficient air pressure causes internal components like rubber, steel, and fabric to flex beyond their intended limits.

The optimal air pressure for tires is usually found on the jamb of the driver’s side door. Drivers should check their tires’ air pressure from time to time, to determine if tires are properly inflated.

Overloading

Another major cause of tire damage is overloading the vehicle. Even if the driver has a vehicle such as a large truck that’s designed to handle heavier loads, tires can only support so much weight before collapsing, particularly when they are under-inflated.

To determine a vehicle’s weight capacity, drivers should check the Gross Vehicular Weight Rating which should be located in the same location as the tire air pressure information. Numbers molded in the tire also indicate the maximum weight it can carry when inflated to maximum pressure.

Potholes

Potholes can do extensive damage because they pinch the internal components between the obstacle and the wheel. Hitting a pothole hard enough can damage these components, or in some cases the pothole may pierce all the way through the rubber and fabric, causing the tire to fail right away or over time from leaks.

When a driver hits a pothole, he or she may want to get the vehicle checked for tire damage to prevent an issue from showing up down the road.

With these factors in mind, drivers can keep tires in good shape for longer and reduce their risk for experiencing a tire blowout accident.