How to Deal With a Tire Exploding While Driving

A tire blowing out at speed can be a dangerous and scary event, but a little education and the ability to remain calm will serve you well.

Steps

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    Stay calm. Avoid panic and stomping on the brakes.
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    If the blown tire is on the rear end of the car, gradually slow down and pull to the side of the road. The car may vibrate badly, but it is unlikely that it will cause you to lose control.
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    If the blown tire is on the front end (steering tires) you will most likely feel a very strong pull to the left or right (depending on which tire blew out). Don't panic! Grip the steering wheel firmly and force the car to straighten out.
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    Begin to very gradually slow down (some recommend even allowing the car to coast to a stop), applying heavy braking will apply weight to the front end and could cause the car to swerve even if you were holding the wheel firmly.
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    Once the car has stopped, it's time to change the tire.

Tips

  • Check with your local tire specialist to find out what pressures are acceptable for your tires, then get a tire gauge and learn how to properly use it.
  • Keep tires properly inflated (including the spare). A tire that's low on air may feel and look fine but can overheat and fail at high speed.
  • The majority of tire failures are due to driver negligence. Allowing tires to become excessively worn is among the top causes of tie failure at highway speeds.
  • While steering, keep your thumbs, fingers, and hands out of the center of the steering wheel. If the front tires turn quickly and your hands are inside the steering wheel, you could be injured.

Warnings

  • Make sure to pull well off the road if you can. Other drivers may see your car but not you, especially in low light conditions.
  • Tires that fail often have steel cording exposed, this can be extremely sharp and dangerous, even if you're wearing leather gloves. Be careful.

Article Info

Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety