How to Deal With a Tire Blowout Safely?
Tire blowouts don’t necessarily have to happen. Most can be avoided with periodic checks for leaks, wear and proper air pressure. But, if you do experience a blowout on the road, there are steps you can do to deal with the situation safely.
Why Blowouts Occur?
Most blowouts happen due to:
- Underinflated tires
- Severely worn treads
- Hot road surface (most happen May through October)
- Overloaded vehicle
Inspect your tires regularly to make sure they are at the proper tire pressure as shown in your owner’s manual or the door frame on the driver’s side. Also, use a penny to check your tire treads on a monthly basis; place the penny into the groove headfirst and if you can still see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new tire.
What to Do if There’s a Tire Blowout?
When you experience a tire blowout you’ll hear it happen and the steering wheel may jerk. A front tire blowout is usually more pronounced.
A blowout can understandably make you nervous, but it’s important to stay calm. Follow the following steps to handle the situation safely.
- Firmly grip the steering wheel.
- Do NOT slam the brakes.
- Slowly take your foot off the gas pedal.
- When you’ve slowed down, pull to the side of the road.
- Turn on the flashing hazard lights.
- If it’s not a safe place to change the tire yourself, call for roadside assistance.
Never get out of the vehicle until you are certain you are safely off the road. It’s a good idea to keep reflective emergency cones or flares in your car; if you have them, place them at intervals for several hundred yards behind the vehicle. If you have neither, but have a white cloth or t-shirt on hand, put it in your driver’s door window.
Prevent Tire Blowouts
Check your tires regularly to avoid having to handle a blowout. Sometimes they may be unavoidable, but with proper tire maintenance you’ll likely not have to experience a blowout.