Don’t let a blown-out tire ruin your day – or your drive home. You can get back on the road again safely and quickly with a little know-how and some p
Don’t let a blown-out tire ruin your day – or your drive home. You can get back on the road again safely and quickly with a little know-how and some preparation beforehand. If you’re driving on the highway and your car suddenly starts veering from side to side, you may have a blown out tire.
This is one of the most common causes of a sudden decrease in handling ability and braking performance. If you find yourself in this scenario, don’t ignore it. A blowout can be very dangerous if you’re driving at high speeds or on wet roads that limit traction. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to mitigate the dangers of this situation.
Stay Calm and Be Prepared
When you’re driving and you encounter a sudden emergency situation, your adrenaline will start pumping. However, you want to make sure that you don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Blown tires are very dangerous, but you can reduce the danger if you stay calm and keep a level head. Don’t try to push through the situation. Instead, take the time to make a careful and rational decision about what to do next.
Ideally, you can be prepared for this situation. Many auto parts stores sell tire repair kits that you can store in your car’s trunk or glove compartment for a quick repair on the side of the road. Even if you don’t have a repair kit, your car should be equipped with a spare tire, jack, and other tools needed to swap out the flat tire.
Pull Over Immediately
If you think you’re experiencing a tire blowout, the first thing you need to do is pull off the road as soon as you can safely do so. Blowouts can happen for a variety of reasons – for example, the tire may have picked up a sharp object in the road. Or it could have been damaged from an impact or from an overinflated tire. Whatever the cause, you don’t want to keep driving.
Blowouts may lead to one of the other tires on your car dropping to dangerously low pressure as well. So while you’re pulling over to assess the situation, try to make sure that you’re not creating a dangerous situation for other drivers on the road.
Check to Make Sure There’s No Other Damage
Before you start trying to fix the flat, it’s a good idea to take a quick visual inspection of the tire. Look at the sidewalls as well as the tread – there could be damage to the tire that will make it harder to repair. If you see any sidewall damage, or you see that the tread is worn down to the point where it’s dangerously thin, you might want to consider just calling it quits.
If the tire is badly damaged, it’s very unlikely that the repair is going to last long enough to get you to the nearest tire shop. In this case, you’ll want to swap it for the spare tire.
Check Your Tires
If you have a blowout, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a bad tire. You could have a nail or a screw stuck in the tire that punctured the tire without causing any permanent damage. Blowouts are caused by a loss of pressure inside the tire, a puncture will reduce the pressure but won’t cause the entire tire to lose pressure.
So if you’ve had a blowout, make sure to check your other tires to make sure they haven’t picked up a nail or a screw. This is especially important if you’re driving in an area where there are a lot of nails on the road, such as through construction areas.
It’s also a good idea to have a professional look at all your tires after a blowout. They can ensure that your air pressure is appropriate, your alignment is still good, and that there are no other immediate concerns with your tires before you get back on the road. Don’t forget to include the spare in this check as well.
If you’re driving down the road and you suddenly see one of your tires go from round to flat in just a few seconds, you’ve probably got a blowout on your hands. This is one of the most dangerous tire-related problems out there, and it’s important to be prepared for it.
When you discover a blown out tire, don’t panic. With some calm thinking and a little effort, you can be back on the road safely in no time.