TIRE BLOWOUT BASICS
Posted on: Nov. 10, 2016 in Safety, Driving, Accidents

A tire blowout is exactly what it sounds like: the tire bursts and suddenly loses all pressure while driving. This can be a frightening situation for a driver who isn’t sure what to do. While blowouts are less common now than they were in the past, they are still surprising and possibly dangerous.

You’ll know your tire has blown out by the initial loud noise of it popping, followed by the sound of the air rushing out. Then, the tire will flap as you drive along. The steering wheel will likely jerk and your first inclination may be to hit the brakes and try to slow down. Experts recommend the exact opposite. You should actually step on the accelerator, or simply keep the same pressure you had when the tire blew, so the car keeps its momentum going until it is stabilized. This will allow you to more easily steer the car to the side of the road as you slow down gradually.

There are several possible causes of a blowout. You could run over something causing sudden damage. Conversely, you could hit something with your tire causing a small puncture that will leak over time until it finally gives out. Another possibility is overloading the car and putting too much weight on the tire.

While it’s hard to prevent sudden tire pressure loss, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk.

  • Check your tires regularly. Make sure you don’t see any indentations or bulges in the sidewall.
  • If your tire is low, consider having it checked by a professional. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and advise you on whether to repair or replace.
  • If your low tire pressure light comes on, have the tires checked as soon as possible. Continuing to drive on them could be quite dangerous.
  • Using proper driving techniques such as proper hand positioning will help your reaction time in the event of a blowout.

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