What to do if you have a tire blowout
Last updated: January 1
If you hear a loud boom coming from your tire while driving, you may have experienced a blowout. A tire blowout will immediately cause your car to begin to slow down as well as pull to the left or right, according to Sun Devil Auto. This can cause your vehicle to lose control, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you experience a blowout, the following steps from Defensivedriving.com can help you keep control of your vehicle:
- First, stay calm.
- Don't step on the brake. This will cause your wheels to lock up and will lead to a total loss of control.
- Accelerate slightly and steer as straight as possible.
- Begin to slow down by gently removing your foot from the accelerator.
- Turn on your emergency lights.
- Steer towards the right-hand lane and pull over when it's safe.
- Change the tire If you know how to and have room to do so safely. Call a towing company if you have any doubts.
Staying safe during a blowout
Immediately after a tire blowout, Firestone Complete Auto Care suggest doing your best to not panic. It may seem counterintuitive, but try to resist the urge to step on the brakes or overcorrect the steering wheel. According to NHTSA, this could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
What causes tire blowouts?
According to Tire Rack, many blowouts are caused by underinflated tires. When the air pressure in a tire is too low, the tire may flex beyond its limits, overheats and cause the rubber to lose its bond to the tire's internal fabric and steel cord reinforcement.
Car and Driver says tire blowouts happen more frequently when you're driving on the interstate or traveling at higher speeds. There's less of a chance in stop-and-go driving because the tire is turning slowly and not building up as much heat, although it's still possible to experience a blowout at lower speeds.
How to prevent tires from blowing out
Not having enough air in your tires and failing to rotate your tires can lead to a flat tire, blowout or the tread coming off your tire. Keeping up on tire maintenance can go a long way toward preventing blowouts, according to NHTSA. Tire maintenance is essential for safety as well as savings on the overall cost of owning a vehicle.
According to NHTSA, maintaining proper air pressure is the most important part of taking care of your vehicle's tires. Check your vehicle's tire pressure regularly and make sure it complies with the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) for your vehicle. You can usually find this information on the sticker inside the driver's door and listed in the vehicle's owner's manual.
NHTSA recommends checking tire pressure when tires are cold or first thing in the morning.
Are tire blowouts covered by insurance?
Auto insurance may help cover certain types of sudden, accidental damage to your tires. But coverage depends on your policy and situation. Read your policy or contact your insurer so you understand what's covered and what's not.