Tire defects are not always readily visible, and they may become apparent only after an accident occurs — for example, an accident on I-95 in which retreaded tires may have played a role. Some defects are caught early, such as those that have been the subject of the 46 million recalls on tires announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; others, unfortunately, slip by undetected and become available for the public to purchase and use on their cars.
One such defect in motor vehicle tires that can present problems both during the mounting of the tire, as well as driving, can lead to tire bead failure, which can result in a miniature explosion that can cause major injuries and death.
Tire Bead Failure
In order to hold air inside of a regular tubeless tire, there must be a component that sits securely against the rim, preventing any air from escaping. This component is known as the tire bead.
Tire beads consist of a set of wires that are threaded through a rubber loop on the edges of the tire (the place that will be set inside of the rim) and spliced together at a point in order to connect. This splice is the weakest point and is often the location of tire bead failure.
When mounting a tire, a portion of the tire bead must be placed inside the rim, then the rest must be ramped inside the rim until the entirety of the bead is “seated” in place. In order to allow the remaining piece to seat though, inflationary pressure must be used from within the tire from the drop center well.
Because massive pressure is applied to the last remaining part, if it happens to be where the splice occurred, catastrophe may result. The wires in the bead may hold uneven pressure, causing one to snap under a stronger load. This may cause a chain reaction, during which each bead snaps, which can cause the tire to lose air explosively and catapult in any direction.
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Tire Bead Failure When Driving
In some situations, a tire bead defect may make it through the mounting process without being revealed. If a tire bead explosion occurs on the road, however, serious injury is likely to result. A tire bead explosion will cause the tire to lose air immediately due to lack of security with the rim, which may lead to a rollover crash.
How can you prevent tire bead failure?
Taking certain steps can help prolong the life of a tire bead and ensure that it does not fail while on the road. Drivers should make sure to search the database SaferCar.gov for tire safety tips, a website that documents all tire recalls that have occurred, and only purchase tires that have no known defects. Additionally, maintaining adequate pressure levels and performing other routine maintenance on a tire both can help protect the integrity of a tire bead.
In the event an accident does occur, it may result in serious injury or even death to both the driver and passengers. And if you or a loved one needs a legal professional to stand strongly by your side after this ordeal, contact the attorneys at Chalik & Chalik immediately. We can help you identify the liable party in order to seek compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 855-529-0269.