How to Survive Your First Tire Blowout

Tire blowouts can occasionally occur while you are driving. Sudden and rapid loss of air pressure, frequently caused by damage to the tire, results in a blowout. Even an experienced driver can be shocked by the sudden noise and inevitable loss of at least some steering power. In this article, we discuss some tips to help you if you experience a tire blowout on the road. Keep in mind that if a blowout occurs because of a vehicle defect or another driver’s negligence, you should speak to a car accident lawyer in Houston as soon as possible. Read on to learn more. 

tire blowout

Tips & Tricks for Surviving a Sudden Tire Blowout

A tire blowout can happen anywhere and on the road, which makes this scenario particularly dangerous. What should you do in such a situation? The steps are explained below:

Stay Calm! 

When you encounter a tire blowout, the worst thing you can do is panic and reflexively jerk the steering wheel to maintain control of your car. Although the situation can be scary, do not stomp on the brakes or jerk the steering wheel reactively to correct your car’s course. These actions, while seemingly sensible in the moment, can cause you to lose control of your vehicle entirely, resulting in a serious crash. Take a deep breath and prepare to handle the situation calmly.

Steer In A Straight Direction

Once your car tire blows out, you will immediately feel your vehicle begin to pull sharply in one direction. To stop that from happening, grip the steering wheel firmly at the positions of 10 and 2. Your car might wobble or begin to fishtail, but it’s important not to overcorrect in an attempt to control the car’s direction. Doing so can actually make the skid worse and make it impossible to safely regain control of the car. You need to do your best to keep your car moving as straight as possible, so you don’t veer into another lane and strike another vehicle.

Apply Gentle Pressure on The Gas Pedal 

It may sound counterintuitive to speed up after a tire blowout, but gaining a slight amount of speed can preserve your vehicle’s momentum and help you stay moving in the right direction. Do not press firmly on the gas, but apply gentle pressure to boost your car’s speed and increase your control. As soon as you have controlled the initial wobbling caused by the blown tire, ease off the gas and begin to decelerate.  

Stay in the Lane You’re In

As you regain control of your vehicle, attempt to stay in the lane you started in. It will be very difficult to safely merge lanes, and doing so will divert your attention away from your car’s speed and trajectory. The worst thing that could happen is you spin out and strike a median or another vehicle, which puts you and other motorists at risk of serious injury or death. Right now, all you need to worry about is staying in your lane and slowing down to a safe speed. 

A Tire Blowout Slows Down Your Car

One good thing about a tire blowout is that it will help you slow your car down by itself, giving you one less thing to worry about during the emergency. The tire that exploded will balloon out and act as a parachute of sorts, allowing you to slow down as long as you remove your foot from the accelerator. You or your front-seat passenger should activate the emergency lights as soon as possible so other cars can see that you’re having difficulty and avoid you. 

Finally, It’s Time to Hit the Brakes 

Once your vehicle has slowed to 20 mph or less, it’s time to begin applying gentle pressure to the brakes. You should still not slam on the brakes, as doing so may impact your ability to steer properly. When it is safe to do so, get your car out of the lanes of traffic by pulling into a parking lot or on the shoulder of the road.  

Tips for Avoiding a Tire Blowout 

In some cases, a tire blowout may be inevitable and completely out of your control, no matter how well-prepared you are or how effectively you’ve maintained your vehicle. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of a tire blowout.

Check the Air Temperature

As the weather changes from cold to warm, heat can adversely impact your vehicle’s tires. As temperatures rise, so does the heat inside of your tires. At a temperature of 200 degrees or more, your tire may begin to physically degrade. It is unlikely that your tire reaches this temperature, of course, but even lesser levels of heat can cause serious problems. If you are driving in extreme heat, be mindful of the potential impact on your car’s tires and pay attention to any usual handling from your car. 

Replace Tires Regularly

Auto experts recommend replacing your car’s tires every 3-6 years, although you may need to do so more frequently if you drive long distances or deal with harsh weather. Old tires may have less grip on the road, offer less stopping power in wet or icy conditions, and be at higher risk of a blowout. If you notice that your tires or balding or you observe any damage, it’s better to err on the side of caution and have the set replaced!  

We hope this article helps you navigate a tire blowout easily and effectively.

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