Count yourself lucky if you've never had a tire blowout. If you have, you know just how scary it can be. The tips below will help you know what to do to maintain control of your vehicle and get safely to the roadside.
Know what a tire blowout feels like:
When a tire explodes at speed, two things happen:
Know what to do if you have a tire blowout:
To get safely to the shoulder during a blowout, you first need to avoid swerving into another lane or grinding to a dangerously slow speed. To do this, you need the following one-two punch of speed and steering:
Once you have the vehicle under control, you can pull to the shoulder or another safe location. As with most unknowns, having an idea of what to expect goes a long way toward calming your fears and giving you the tools you need to safely handle a tire blowout.
Know what causes a tire blowout:
Blowouts are the result of air escaping from the tire -- slowly or all at once -- leaving it with less air pressure than needed to support your car's weight, passengers and whatever else you're hauling around.
Not having enough pressure in your tires forces the rubber to work harder than it's built to. Working past the limits of its design causes the tire to get too hot, which breaks down its internal structure and, ultimately, causes a blowout.
Blowouts can also be caused by asking your tires to carry more weight than they can manage, immediate or old impact damage, or a puncture that releases air over time until eventually the tire cries uncle in the form of a blowout.
Know how to prevent a tire blowout:
Regular tire pressure checks are the best way to prevent blowouts and extend the life of your tires. Learn how to check tire pressure yourself or stop by any of our stores for a fast and free inspection. Also, drive safely and avoid road hazards to keep tires strong.