You can take the best care of your car by maintaining fluid levels, checking tire pressure and having scheduled maintenance preformed, but driving emergencies can still happen. Being prepared, as much as you can anyway, is the best way to deal with these emergencies when they happen. This allows the best outcome for you, your passengers and your car.
Flat Tire VS Blowout
For those who have experienced a tire blowout, they will tell you it’s one of the most dramatic emergencies to experience on the road. With a flat tire, there will be a slow loss of pressure. With a tire blowout on the other hand, the pressure loss is very rapid. This sudden loss of pressure is the reason it’s important to know just what you need to do to handle the situation a quick and effective reaction.
Cause of Tire Blowout Accidents
For the most part, the tires of today are very reliable and blowouts are rare. They occur for several reasons with the most common cause being under-inflation. When tires are under-inflated; the tire walls will flex more than they should. When you continue to drive on under-inflated tires, heat will buildup in the rubber and lead to a blowout. This can be more common on hot days. On the flip side, over-inflation can also lead to tire blowouts because and overinflated tire is easier to become punctured and slashed by debris on the road. Excess wear, over-loading and age can also cause tire blowouts.
Preventing Tire Blowouts
The best way to avoid a tire blowout is to take good care of your tires. Make sure they are inflated within the recommended pressure range. This information can be found in a chart on the side of the door well. Make sure tires are rotated regularly and that the tread depth is monitored and don’t exceed the load index of your vehicle when carrying heavy objects.
What Does a Tire Blowout Feel Like & How to Handle it
If you hear a thumping sound coming from one of the wheels, it’s an indication that a tire blowout is about to happen. Pull over immediately and check your tires. If a blowout does occur, try and stay calm. You will notice the car start to vibrate and want to swerve in the direction of the blown-out tire. DO NOT BRAKE! This will cause the wheels to lock and you’ll completely lose control. You need to accelerate a little and steer the car as straight as you can. The acceleration will prevent your car from moving into the next lane. Then start to slow down by gently taking your foot off the accelerator. This release will have the same effect as braking. Move to the right side of the road to a safe place and turn your hazard lights on to let oncoming traffic know you’re having a situation. Keeping this information in mind will help you handle a tire blowout and if you ever see a car acting like a tire is going to blow or has blown you’ll know which way the car is going to shift, and you’ll be more prepared.
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If you feel comfortable changing the tire, go ahead but, if you feel unsafe in the situation, don’t chance it and call a towing company instead. Citywide Towing offers roadside assistance and towing for any situation. Give us a call!