While a common flat tire can be a pain in the rear-end, a full-on tire blowout, or rather when the tire explodes on the rim, has the potential to make you lose control of your car and crash.
Fortunately, tire blowouts are relatively rear and preventable. Knowing their leading causes plus how to avoid them can help you prevent this dangerous scenario…
Check The Tread and Pressure of Your Tires
Make a habit of inspecting your tires before you get on the road. Check for wear and tear and issues like a nail stuck on the wall of your tire. Also, check the tread of your tires for wear and bald spots.
You can ideally try the penny test which involves putting a penny with Lincoln’s head facing down towards the tread. If the top his head disappears, then the tread is in good shape. However, if his whole head is still visible, then the tread depth isn’t deep enough to protect you from blowouts.
Also, check the tire pressure. Low pressure leads to faster heat transfer and more friction which increases the chances of a blowout.
Avoid Overloading The Car
It is important to check the weight limit of your tires and avoid surpassing it. Overloading your vehicle puts too much pressure on the tires which increases the chances of a blowout.
Poorly maintained tires are at a higher risk of blowing out under excessive weight.
Bad driving habits such as speeding increases the risk of tire issues. High speeds on hot roads, for instance, can lead to an increase of tire pressure to unsafe levels.
This can result in a blowout, especially if you drive over a nail or pothole while speeding. Stay within the speed limit, avoid potholes while on the highway and you will significantly reduce the chances of a blowout.
If you are unfortunate and a blowout happens, do the following:
- Ensure you sustain a firm grip on the steering wheel and avoid slamming on the brakes.
- Gradually bring the car on a halt to the side of the road.
- Turn on the emergency flashers and then call for help.
It is important to remain calm as it will be hard to sustain control over your car in this situation. Once you are off the road with the flashers activated, put out reflective triangles or cones if you have them and then replace the blown out tire with your spare one.
If it’s not safe to replace the blown-out tire where you are or don’t know how, call for roadside assistance.