Do you know what’s scarier than a ghost? A loud boom and your car jerking when driving down the highway. Tire blowouts are responsible for over 75,000 accidents each year, but you have nothing to fear if you are prepared. Follow these tips from our roadway experts at Pantusa Towing to regain control of your car during a tire blowout.
Staying Safe During a Blowout
· Take a Breath and Remain Calm—Many accidents occur because drivers start to panic and act without thinking. For the first few minutes, doing nothing is often the best course of action. Do not try to steer, brake, or take your foot off the gas. Sudden changes could cause you to start spinning out of control. Hitting the brakes is the absolute worst thing to do at any point while you are managing a tire blowout.
· Keep Driving Straight—A blown out tire will start to pull you in one direction. Keep your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and try to keep your car going as straight as possible. Sudden turning or overcorrecting will cause you to lose control.
· Give it Some Gas—When your car seems out of your control, adding a little gas may seem like the opposite of what you need to do. Gently accelerating after your blowout will help you maintain your forward momentum and get control of your vehicle. Once you feel the car is under control, you can ease off the gas.
· Let your Car Slow Down Gradually—Your blown out tire will gradually slow down your car to a stop. Your speed will drop below the highway’s speed limit quickly, so go ahead and put on your emergency lights to warn other drivers of your situation. Keep avoiding sudden turning or braking; stay straight and wait for the car to slow.
· Gently Brake When Below 30—Once your car is going less than 30 mph, you should be able to brake gently and ease your car off the road safely. Call for help whenever you are in a safe place.
Now that you know how to survive a scary blowout, we can talk about the best ways to avoid one altogether.
· Check your Tires’ Pressure Regularly—The majority of tire blowouts can be connected to tire pressure issues. If you are unsure about what pressure your tires should be at, this information is often found on the inside of your driver door or within your manual. Cars in the US built after 2007 are required to come with electronic tire monitoring systems to try and prevent tire pressure issues. If your car notifies you of a pressure issue, take it seriously and check on your tires. Drivers with older cars will need to manually check the pressure regularly. A tire gauge is a useful tool to have in your car and can be purchased for under $10. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure monthly to be proactive about avoiding tire blowouts.
· Replace Worn Out Tires—If your tires are old or damaged, do not continue to drive around on them. You can damage other parts of your car, such as your rims, and make yourself more vulnerable to tire blowouts. The typical lifespan for tires is about 6 years, so plan and budget accordingly. Replacing your tires will be less costly than fixing your car after an accident from a blowout. Also, you can endanger the safety of you and your passengers by driving on old tires.
Save the spooky stuff for your Halloween party and avoid a scary blowout. You have nothing to fear when you are prepared for a tire emergency with these tips. If you have a blown out tire and need help, call the Pantusa Towing team right away! We are standing by to help!