What Causes a Tire to Blowout?
Tire blowouts are often sudden and unexpected, leaving a driver scrambling to compensate for the lost control. Many blowouts are preventable with the right maintenance routine, but others can happen because of faulty products and weather conditions.
What You Need to Know About Tire Blowouts
Blowouts are more likely to happen in the warmer months from May-October. The hot weather combined with longer trips, faster speeds, and heavy loads can add too much stress to an already worn out tire and cause it to pop. Unlike a flat tire, blowouts happen when a tire explodes and may leave accident-causing rubber debris in its wake.
Tires can also blowout when they have the wrong amount of pressure. If you look on the side of your tire, you will see the recommended PSI (pounds Per Square Inch) range your tires should be filled with. Impact with road hazards can also cause an unexpected blowout on any new or old tire.
What a Tire Blowout Typically Feels Like
Tire blowouts are often accompanied by a loud explosive noise. Simultaneously, a driver may notice the vehicle naturally starting to decelerate, and it may start pulling strongly to one side or the other. The experience is sudden and can happen at any speed, time of day, and in a variety of traffic conditions.
What to Do if Your Vehicle Has a Blowout
Tire blowouts are dangerous because they can often leave debris on the road, and they affect the ability of a driver to steer. Your first inclination after a blowout may be to stop accelerating, slam on the brakes, and move over to the shoulder of the road. This initial reaction can be very dangerous and is not how you should handle a blowout. Instead:
- Prepare by not driving distracted. If you are distracted with food, a cellphone, or doing something other than driving, then you may not be prepared to handle a sudden vehicle malfunction like a tire blowout.
- Address the blowout by accelerating or maintaining your speed momentarily. Press the accelerator to keep forward momentum. This will help offset the feeling of your car pulling too much to one side. Turn the wheel slightly in the opposite direction from where you feel the pull.
- After you feel the vehicle become steady, slow down and start moving towards the shoulder of the road. Turn your hazard lights on as you make your way to the side. Driving through a blowout is recommended for any vehicle and any speed.
Avoiding a Blowout
Maintaining consistent pressure and replacing your tires as needed can greatly reduce the chance of facing a blowout on the roadway. Many modern vehicles have internal pressure gauges you can monitor from the dash. For others, keep a small tire gauge on hand, and regularly check the pressure. This is particularly important when the seasons change. You can also stop at most service stations and automotive shops for a free tire inspection to help you determine the drivability of your tires before long trips.
You may not be able to anticipate an obstacle on the roadways. Debris flying out of vehicles, potholes, unnoticeable nails in the roadways, and other dangerous road hazards can cause a blowout anytime and anywhere. Although the majority of blowouts happen during the warm season, you can still experience one during the milder and colder seasons, too. Regularly run through how to handle a blowout in your head to prepare yourself for the unexpected, and maintain safe speeds when driving to reduce the likelihood of being in an accident as a result of a tire blowout. If you suspect the tire blowout was caused by a faulty product or another persons negligence, contact a skilled personal injury attorney for a consultation.