A tire blowout is no doubt a scary and stressful situation, especially if it happens on the highway or in traffic. It can be caused by something as small as a nail in the road or low tire pressure. The top five causes of tire blowouts are under-inflation, overload, uneven tread wear, damage and defects.
You’ll know you’ve had a tire blowout if you hear a loud pop and an unevenness with your vehicle. You’ll also most likely smell burnt rubber and will hear what is left of the tire flapping around. If it happens, don’t panic. Here are some tips on what to do next if you find yourself in this situation:
- Don’t slam on your brakes. Try to maintain control of your vehicle and pull of safely to the side of the road or exit promptly. Get away from traffic and find somewhere safe.
- Turn on your hazard lights.
- Do not get out of your vehicle unless it is completely safe and away from any traffic.
- Call for roadside assistance. You can also call a tow truck company to tow your truck into your trusted mechanic (if you are still local) to fix you up.
Here’s how to prevent a tire blowout from occurring:
- Always check your tire pressure and make sure that your tires are up to standards. Low tire pressure is a main cause of tire blowouts and can be avoided with good maintenance.
- Check your tire wear regularly using a simple penny test. Place the coin headfirst into the groove; if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tire.
- Try to keep the load of your vehicle light - don’t keep excessive things in your car that you don’t need.
If you ever find yourself in a tire blowout situation, be sure to remember the steps above to handle it safely and avoid it in the future!