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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
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Is There An Epidemic of Loose or Stray Tires Causing Car Wrecks?

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Last night, one of the Austin news stations ran a story that had stunning video that showed the surprising amount of damage that a loose tire could cause to cars (and their occupants).  Unfortunately, I went to the station’s website, and there is no mention of the story.  But it did get me to start doing a little research, and I was surprised to find the number of auto accidents involving loose or stray tires.

For example, last summer an Austin motorist was killed in an  I-35 car wreck when a stray tire hit her car.   The tire had apparently come loose from a commercial vehicle traveling on the other side of the highway. 

But Austin isn’t alone.  In March, a Wisconsin Department of Transportation video caught footage of an 18 wheeler near Milwaukee losing two tires, one of which crossed the highway and hit a minivan, causing the driver to be hospitalized. 

The story accompanying the video relates the stories of several other Milwaukee area drivers that had been injured or killed by stray tires, including a reference to one family who filed a wrongful death suit following the incident.  Another story reports that the Racine area had three other incidents in March alone where stray tires caused wrecks, though none of the occupants of the vehicles were injured. 

Also in March, a Minnesota man was killed when a loose tire hit his truck.

In February, a loose tire in Orlando hit a motorist who received serious head injuries in the wreck.  That’s in addition to an April 2007 wreck where a Gainesville woman was hit by a loose tire.

Those are a lot of incidents for a short period of time.