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Loose tires cause accidents, injuries, deaths

When you're traveling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour, even the smallest piece of debris can become life-threatening. So what happens when a tire comes loose from another vehicle and flies at your windshield? It's easy to see how that could cause serious injury or death.

There are many examples of motor vehicle accidents caused by loose tires in the New York region and across the country. Just last week, a tire came loose and crashed through the windshield of a commercial bus, injuring the driver and three passengers. Last month, a mother was killed and her infant daughter was injured when a tire crashed into the roof and windshield of her car. A few years ago, a 73-year-old man was killed and his wife injured when a tire slammed into his vehicle.  

And in a different turn of events, two women were killed earlier this year when a rear wheel came loose from their own car, causing the vehicle to flip over.

Unfortunately, there is no system in place to track the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities that occur when tires come loose and crash into vehicles or buildings, so it is difficult to determine the frequency with which these incidents occur. But most of our Queens County readers would likely agree that even one injury or death is too many. Perhaps it is time for state and federal officials to take a closer look at the potential harm caused by loose tires and how to prevent it.

In the meantime, experts offer drivers one important piece of advice: if you change a tire on your vehicle, make absolutely sure that the bolts, or lug nuts, are completely secure.

Source:, "Road Warrior: Loose-tire crashes occur all too frequently," John Cichowski, May 8, 2014

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