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Summer has officially arrived in Las Vegas. That means pool club parties, triple-digit temperatures, and empty schools. But another major part of summertime is road trips for people who are visiting the valley. And with hot roadway asphalt, one of the big concerns to watch out for is tire separation.

The point was tragically underscored this week in a fatal accident on I-15. Yesterday afternoon about 12:15pm, a dodge sport utility vehicle was traveling north on I-15 on the southern edge of Las Vegas. As the vehicle neared the exit to State Route 146 (near Southern Highlands Golf Club), the left rear tire of the SUV experienced a blowout. The driver braked, causing the Dodge to spin out of control across the highway and onto the right shoulder, where it overturned. A 39-year old woman from California who was a passenger in the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene; and five other occupants, including a 9-year old girl, suffered injuries.

Media reports indicate that everyone in the vehicle was related, so the likelihood of a wrongful death lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit emerging from this crash is low. But this event is important for Las Vegas motorists for two reasons: first, to reinforce the dangers of tire separation in hot summertime conditions; and secondly, to remind drivers that even if their vehicle suffers a blowout, they are still responsible for any injuries or deaths that may result from an ensuing auto accident. Officials point out that one of the major causes of tire separation is low tire pressure, so always make sure that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated.