How to Safely Manage a Tire Blowout
A tire blowout can be scary and sudden. It can be a traumatic event for anyone, especially new drivers. Tire blowouts mean that a tire on your vehicle suddenly ruptures or bursts while you are driving. This sudden rupture may be the result of a cut or hole in the tire. A tire blowout can happen at any time, so it’s important to know what to do, especially if you are traveling at a high rate of speed on the highway. The most important thing is your safety and the safety of the other drivers around you. A blowout may be extremely dangerous if it isn’t handled properly, so here are a few tips to help you safely survive a tire blowout.
The first thing you’ll want to do is panic, but it’s actually the last thing you should do. If you have a tire blowout and start to panic, it will prevent you from thinking quickly and may cause you to react in a negative way. It’s completely normal to be confused and scared, and it’s okay to panic a little, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to overly panic as it typically leads to a worse situation.
Don’t Slam on the Brakes
Your first instinct when a tire blowout happens may be to slam on your brakes. But you should never slam on your brakes, even with a tire blowout. Slamming the brakes may lead to an accident, such as being rear-ended by the vehicle behind you. Instead, remove your foot from the gas and let your car slow down, and when it’s safe to do so, such as when you get close to a place that’s safe to pull over, gently push the brakes.
Firmly Grip the Steering Wheel
It’s important that you have a firm grip on the steering wheel, especially while you are allowing the vehicle to slow down. This is very important because when a tire blowout occurs, your vehicle will go out of control; it may shake violently or veer to one side as the tire deflates. So holding tightly on to the steering wheel will allow you to safely get the vehicle under control and avoid a potential accident. Once you have a firm grip on the steering wheel, it’s important to steer as straight ahead as possible. While doing this, you need to reduce your speed gradually until the vehicle comes to a stop. In the midst of this, you should attempt to put your emergency flashers on.
It’s important that you not stop on the highway, find an exit or a shoulder that is safe to pull over, and always try to pull over to the right. Leave your emergency flashers on and if you have a cone or triangle, place it behind your vehicle so that other drivers will be aware of your stopped vehicle. If it’s dark outside, set up flares to warn passing drivers, this is extremely important if you have a tire blowout on a busy highway. As soon as you are safely pulled over on the shoulder or at an exit, contact your roadside assistance. If you choose to change the tire yourself, never do this on the highway, even in the daylight it can be dangerous, instead take the closest exit if possible.