A deadly auto accident in phoenix involving several people in an RV along Loop 202 on Monday is serving as a cautionary tale about tire troubles during the sweltering Arizona summers. Seven people were inside the RV Monday when a tire blew out, causing the RV to slam into the wall along the 202. The driver was killed and three children were injured.
The Department of Public Safety is investigating whether the tire was faulty or improperly maintained. Officers are hoping that the crash serves as a warning to drivers about the importance of preventative tire maintenance.
“Here in Arizona, it seems to be more because of the heat," Officer Tim Case said. "You'll see a lot more of the tread wear on the tire. It's imperative, especially in Arizona, that your tires are in good shape."
Matt Allen, owner of Virginia Auto Service, said that there are several key points when it comes to preventative tire maintenance. Make sure the tires are less than six years old, are not weather-worn or dry rotted, and have the correct air pressure and tread depth. "It's huge, it's very important," Allen said. "It's one of the easiest things the owner of a car can do without having to go to a shop."
OK. Good advice. But there is SO MUCH MORE that one needs to be aware of regarding tires.
How long have the tires been on the vehicle? How many miles are on the tires? More importantly, how OLD are the tires? You may have purchased the tires 6 months ago, but they have may been manufactured and sitting in a warehouse for 7 years----you need to know that!
Was the vehicle recently serviced? Have you performed regular tire maintenance (air checks, rotations, etc..)? Is there any history of defects of the brand/type/size tire? Any history of recalls, accidents, litigation, etc…? Alternatively, did the tire at issue have some defect that occurred in the manufacturing process?
There are many things to consider with respect to tire safety and possible legal claims for tire defects. It is imperative that a thorough investigation be done immediately, and the one doing the investigation be experienced. The law enforcement officers often do a good job, but not always thorough enough. Have they taken the time to gather every single scrap of rubber off the highway? Each one helps tell the story of what happened, and one missing piece can make the puzzle incomplete and a case impossible to prove.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones in this horrible accident.