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Personal Injury Law: Georgia Injury Lawyer Blog
Tire Failures - Van Dangers
We have written in the past about the danger of using aged tires on vehicles and the inherent rollover dangers in large passenger vans. We recently learned of the existence of an organization dedicated to addressing these dangers, educating the public about these dangers, and hopefully saving lives.
The American Center for Van and Tire Safety, acfvats.org, was established by Patrick James after the tragic death of his young daughter. On July 17, 2007, ten year old Alexis James was a passenger in a 15 passenger van traveling with others from her home in South Carolina to a softball game in Georgia. Unexpectedly, the left rear tire of the van suffered a failure, causing the van to rollover. Although Alexis was wearing the provided lap belt, she was ejected from the van and suffered fatal injuries.
Subsequent investigation determined that the van was traveling within the speed limit and there were no additional causative factors for the rollover other than the tire failure.
After the incident, Patrick James decided to direct his grief into positive action. He researched the failed tire and learned that it was over 13 years old, but had seen no use prior to installation on the van. It had been a spare. He learned that here was ample research demonstrating that tires over approximately 6 years old were subject to failure and should be replaced or not otherwise put into use. Many automobile manufacturers now make these recommendations and the NTSB has issued an advisory.
However, relatively few persons are receiving this information. Now, the American Center for Van and Tire Safety is working with the NTSB to start an public awareness campaign. Hopefully, the word will spread, and other families will not have to endure the losses suffered by the James family and many others. The American Center for Van and Tire Safety is to be commended for these efforts
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