Crisis Series: Tire Blowout
What to do if your tire ruptures on the highway? The term blowout generally refers to a bursting tire that quickly follows by a loss of air pressure. Most blowouts are caused by too little air pressure, allowing the tire to flex beyond elastic limits until the rubber on the tire loses the bond it has to the internal fabric and steel cord reinforcement. But when it comes to staying safe and getting back on the road as quickly as possible, what should you do?
Some stats associated with flat and blown out tires:
• Flat tire season is May through September due to heat and increased travel.
• Flat tires and tire blowouts are estimated to cause more than 78,300 crashes annually.
• Total annual sales in car tires: $32.1 billion.
• The average driver will experience up to 5 flat tires in their lifetime.
• 7 tire punctures occur every second in the U.S. – that’s 220 million flat tires annually.
Common Reasons for Tire Blowouts
There a few common reasons that your tires could blowout, and they are all related to the main theme of not taking care of your tires for either maintenance and tire rotation, or avoiding putting air in them when pressure gets low. Sometimes, tire blowouts are the cause of other underlying issues.
• Under Inflation
• Worn Treads
• Slow Leak
There are simple and convenient measures you can take to prevent a tire blowout from ever happening. A routine inspection to check for proper pressure, any leaks, or the tread of wear and tear is important.
What to do if You Experience a Blowout on the Highway
If your tire blows out on the highway when you’re traveling at high speeds, there are important tips to keep in mind so you know what to do when your tire blows out. When your tire blows out on the highway, here is what you need to do:
1. Grip steering wheel firmly and do not slam on brakes.
2. Let your car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
3. Let your car roll toward the berm or an exit. Do Not Stop in Traffic.
4. Brake lightly once off the road until you come to a stop.
5. Turn on your emergency flashers.
6. Stand a safe distance from your vehicle while waiting for help to arrive.
It can be a scary and gut-wrenching situation when you’re cruising down the highway and experience a tire blowout. Use these tips to learn what to do when your tire blows out, and how to avoid a flat tire through proper maintenance.