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Insufficient Tire Tread Cited as Reason behind Pedestrian Fatality

November 4, 2013 Posted By Vanguard Attorneys

On Wednesday, October 16th, a woman who was walking her dog in Washington D.C. was struck and killed by a passing motorist. Police investigators determined the vehicle’s old tire lacked sufficient tread and was therefore responsible for the accident.

The driver, Mohamed-Kareem Mohamed, 21, was charged with reckless driving and unsafe vehicle operation linked to insufficient tire tread. Mohamed was driving a 1998 BMW Sedan just before 9:40am when he lost control of the car. Authorities say a tire on the BMW had insufficient tread, causing the car to lose traction and spin out of control on the wet pavement.

The pedestrian, 58-year-old Zenaida Ines Jimenez, was transported to a nearby hospital, where she later died from her injuries. Her dog was not injured in the accident.

State Laws and Motor Vehicle Safety

In many states with safety inspections, including Maryland and the District of Columbia, minimal tire tread is required to pass inspection. Some states will also cite drivers for operating on worn or otherwise unsafe tires. The driver bears the responsibility of maintaining his/her vehicle in safe operating condition, depending upon state law.

By comparison, Florida does not have a state inspection and state laws do not hold drivers to such standards, though many safety advocates feel that such laws should be introduced.

Safe Vehicle Operation and Manufacturer Defects

Responsible drivers should replace worn tires when the tread wear bars are showing. Riding on worn tires greatly reduces overall traction, particularly in wet/rainy conditions. A vehicle may enter a skid under normal driving conditions on worn tires. In cases where tires with adequate tread separate (causing a blowout) due to a manufacturer’s defect, the tire maker may be held liable for any injuries that result if an accident occurs.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

  1. Every 24 hours an average of 460 people are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for traffic-related pedestrian injuries
  2. Pedestrian fatalities account for 11% of all motor-vehicle fatalities
  3. Approximately 4,200 pedestrian fatalities have occurred each year since 2010
  4. About 70,000 pedestrians are stuck by cars and injured every year
  5. Nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents occur between Friday and Sunday
  6. A pedestrian fatality occurs every 2 hours
  7. A pedestrian injury occurs 8 minutes
  8. Pedestrian-related emergency room admissions consist primarily of teens and young adults ages 15 to 29
  9. Pedestrian accidents are the second leading cause of death in the US for ages 5 to 14
  10. Nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5-9 killed in traffic crashes is a pedestrian
  11. Teens account for nearly 50% of all child pedestrian injuries over the past 5 years
  12. The pedestrian mortality rate increases with age, and in much larger increments for the elderly
  13. Florida ranks #2 on the US pedestrian accident list
  14. Four out of five pedestrian fatalities occur outside of designated crosswalk areas

References:

NBC Washington

Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Accident Prevention

All About Car Accidents

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