The Tweel, the combination of the wheel and the tire, is making waves for being the first tire to not require air in order to use it. Michelin American Technology has created the innovative take on an item that is often referred to as incapable of recreation.
By eliminating the need for air, Tweels should be less prone to tire blowouts, a top cause of serious car accidents. But that does not mean that they are perfect — in fact, they might be too good for their own use.
Our product liability attorneys know from experience that design defects in automobiles can cause cars to malfunction. But what is equally as dangerous, but less publicized, is the fact that sometimes improvements to cars do not make them safer when a driver is out of control. Just because a car optimizes its safety features does not mean the person behind the wheel will make the best choices as a driver.
Probably the biggest concern that our firm has is about motorists who choose to drive under the influence (DUI), either with drugs or alcohol. Say that they get in the driver’s seat of a car that is equipped with Tweels, start the ignition, and drive off down the road.
Now, everyone knows that this practice is illegal, and a police officer will surely notice the signs of DUI if an intoxicated driver should speed by them. They will flip on their sirens and lights in an attempt to pullover the reckless driver, but instead of obeying the law, the driver takes off and a police car chase is about to take place.
For cases like this, the police would determine the route a vehicle in pursuit was heading and set up a roadblock with a spike chain laid out to blowout the tires on the car they were looking to stop. But this car with the drunk driver has Tweels and rolls right over the spikes, with little-to-no property damage done to the four round objects spinning under the car.
After all, the Tweel is designed the same way a military tank’s wheels are designed, not only in shape and size, but with the ability to keep working once damaged.
Obviously this is an extreme situation, but not so extreme that it does not happen. Another scenario would be a car that hits a patch of black ice during a snow storm. If the driver knows how to pump the brakes properly and keep the car from spinning out, will the Tweels work as typical pneumatic tires would? Or could they be the culprit behind a wrongful death in a bad weather accident because they did not stop a car before it collided with a tree on the side of the road.
Our product liability attorneys think that this invention is an interesting take on an old favorite, but we still have our hesitations about endorsing a product that could set up a whole new set of circumstances to cause motorists personal injury.
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines