Tire Blowout Kills Two on I-20 in Atlanta

Two people were killed last week and an additional four were injured in a single car accident. The accident temporarily closed I-20 eastbound lanes.

The accident was caused when a tire on the vehicle, a 2003 Ford Explorer, blew out and caused it to flip several times. Three of the Explorers six passengers were thrown out of the vehicle entirely.

Adriana Gil, twenty-nine, and Rocia Jimenez, also twenty-nine, both died in the accident. Both young women were from Forest Park. The other four victims were rushed to receive medical attention; their identities have not been released.

Tire blowouts are not uncommon, and can lead to very dangerous accidents, as demonstrated before on this blog when I wrote about the infamous Firestone Tire Recall. A rapid loss of air pressure in the tire – in that case due to tread separation – can easily lead to a total loss of control or a rollover when driving at speed.

How can you avoid a tire blowout or a rollover?

Unfortunately, there is no sure fire way to avoid either. Even safe drivers who properly maintain their tires can find themselves in a circumstance where one of their tires blows as a result of debris in the road, a pothole or in some cases, defective tires. There are, however, things you as a driver can do to minimize your chances of a serious blowout or rollover, and to protect yourself if the worst comes to pass.

First, check your tires regularly to insure that they have proper traction and are properly inflated. Properly maintaining your tires will help prevent a blowout in the first place.

Do not immediately hit the breaks if one of your tires loses pressure. If possible, maintain your speed until the car stabilizes – this will help your car’s traction. Only after the car stabilizes should you slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

Most rollovers occur on rural roads and highways, so exercise particular caution on these roads. Keeping two hands on the wheel and staying alert will help you avoid obstacles which could potentially cause a blowout or rollover, and ensures that you will be more likely to respond appropriately if something does go wrong.

Secure heavy cargo inside your car tightly, so it will not transform into a projectile in the event of a rollover.

And, of course, avoid driving at excessive speed.

The most common reason why people lose control of their cars is because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are tired, or they are otherwise distracted by talking on their cell phones or sending text messages. I’ve mentioned the perils of distracted driving on this blog many times, but, of course, distracted driving will always be one of our major problems on the road.

In the event the worst come to pass, remember that you should always be wearing your safety belt. Passengers wearing seatbelts are significantly more likely to survive a rollover crash than those who are unbelted.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Georgia accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. For legal advice, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.