According to Harris County Sheriff’s investigators, a bad tire and perhaps some speeding appears to have resulted in a fatal accident overnight in Katy, Texas.
Witnesses say the accident happened at around midnight, when a pickup truck that was traveling west on Morton Road at about 80 miles per hour blew its right front tire. The blowout caused the truck to slide sideways on the median and slam into a tree before rolling several times and landing on its roof. The pickup truck’s 19-year-old driver was pronounced dead on the scene, while a 19-year-old passenger was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.
Police say a beer can was thrown from the truck as it rolled, although the passenger told officers that no one in the truck had been drinking prior to the crash. The Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released a toxicology report from the accident, which may determine whether or not alcohol was a possible factor.
Unfortunately, this type of accident is not an isolated incident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire failures are among the most common vehicle equipment failures, and are estimated to cause approximately 11,000 traffic accidents every year in the United States. Among the most common reasons for tire blowouts include the following:
- Poor road conditions, including objects in the roadway, such as glass, metal and rocks, or potholes and even missing manhole covers.
- Hot weather. Especially during the summer, excessive heat on asphalt can cause tires that are already in poor condition to fall apart faster.
- Poorly maintained tires, such as those which are not kept at the proper air pressure, or those that are balding.
- Manufacturing defects, which can lead to greater risk while driving.
Drivers have a responsibility to properly maintain their tires and thus significantly reduce the risk of tire failure while driving. They should do a monthly check of the air pressure of their tires, as well as doing a regular check of their tires’ tread and replacing them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. By doing this, drivers will not only reduce their risk of a blowout, but they will also improve their fuel economy and their vehicles load carrying ability.
A complete investigation of this accident will have to be conducted, including such issues as weather and roadway conditions, as well as the condition of the driver and the vehicle. While it’s possible this accident was entirely the driver’s fault, it’s also possible the tires were defective, or that something on the road caused the blowout. If that’s the case, it’s possible the driver and his family may be entitled to compensation for someone else’s negligence.
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in any type of traffic accident, and you believe that someone else’s negligence may be to blame in that accident, please call a skilled San Antonio injury lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation, so that we can do an investigation and help you protect your rights under the law.