August 9th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
If you think a flat tire is an ordeal, let’s hope you never experience a tire blowout, because it can be even scarier and more stressful, especially if you’re traveling at high speed.
Some of that emotion comes from the fear of the unknown; unlike a flat tire, many drivers have never experienced a tire blowout on the road.
“My car tire blew out” phone calls are quite common at tires and collision repair centers. If you have a tire blowout, your car will immediately do two things. First it will slow down a bit; then it will pull strongly to the right or left, depending on which tire went flat. When this occurs, the most important thing is to remain calm and maintain control of your vehicle by keeping a firm grip on the steering wheel.
Could it happen to you? You bet it could. But if you know what to expect and how to respond in the event of a tire blowout, you’ll be prepared and able to handle the situation calmly.
If you have a blowout while driving you should follow these seven steps:
1. Stay calm and collected
Remain in control. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you’ve got this.
2. Don’t turn the steering wheel at high speed
Instead, grasp the wheel firmly, around 10 o’clock for your left hand and 2 o’clock for your right hand, and steer straight ahead. If you have a blowout while driving, you should resist that impulse to slam on the brakes or you will make things much worse. Instead, keep your foot gently pressed on the gas pedal to help you maintain momentum. You may feel that your car is being pulled to the side, but keep it as straight as you can.
3. When your car slows down, turn the wheel slowly.
You will notice your car would start to slow down on its own. The blown-out tire will actually cause the vehicle to lose speed. When it reaches a safe speed, under 30 MPH, slowly turn your wheel and gently apply the brakes.
4. Pull your car over to a safe spot, stop the vehicle, and turn off the engine.
Safely navigate your car to the side. If you have a blowout while driving you should make this your goal!
5. Immediately activate your hazard signal and use emergency flares, beacons, or triangles, so drivers are able to spot you and use appropriate caution.
6. Replace your blown out tire with your spare tire.
If you have a tire blowout and can confidently put on the spare yourself, safely and securely, then that will save you some time. You’ll need a jack and a lug wrench, and a screwdriver to remove the hubcaps.
Keep in mind that most spare tires are not designed to drive long distances or at high speeds.
7. If you have a tire blowout and don’t have a spare or feel safe replacing it yourself, call roadside assistance and wait outside your car until they arrive.
If you have a blowout while driving you should keep calm and navigate your way to safety. Knowledge is power, as they say. And now that you have the knowledge, you will be able to respond to this potentially stressful and scary situation with confidence, by calmly guiding your car safely off the road.
If it happens to you, get your car to a safe spot and give Fix Auto a call. If you’re not sure, we’ll walk you through what to do. The best outcome, of course, would be to avoid the blowout scenario altogether. Prevention and maintenance are the keys – monitor and care for your tires like you would a child.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Riverton, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Salt Lake County and Northern Utah