How Many Fatalities Are Caused by Flat Tires or Blowouts?

September 15, 2014

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2003, about 414 people died in accidents caused by flat tires or blowouts. Moreover, there were 10,275 injuries and 78,392 crashes associated with these types of accidents.

Are Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Required on All Vehicles?

In response to the high number of fatalities and injuries resulting from flat tires and blowouts, the NHTSA created two new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that went into effect in September of 2007:

  • FMVSS No. 138—requires tire pressure monitoring systems on all new light vehicles.
  • FMVSS No. 139—updated safety and performance standards for light-truck tires.

How Do Tire Problems Affect the Outcome of an Accident?

Below are the results from a study on how tire issues affect the outcome of an accident:

  • Of the nearly 2.1 million vehicles involved in a crash between 2005 and 2007, 9 percent of the crashes were a result of tire issues.
  • Under inflation: 10 percent of the vehicles that were involved in a collision had tires that were underinflated by more than 25 percent.
  • Tread: Amazingly, 26 percent of crashes were in vehicles with tires that had a tread depth of 0 to 2/32 of an inch. Compare that rate to 8 percent of vehicles involved in a wreck with a tread depth ranging between 3/32 and 4/32 of an inch.
  • Rollovers accounted for the highest percentage of tire issues.
  • Forty-five percent of SUVs rolled over that were experiencing tire problems.

Tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. If they are not maintained or they are not operating properly due to a manufacturing defect, people can get seriously injured or killed


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