What Should I Do If I Have a Tire Blowout?
A blowout involves sudden and rapid air loss caused by underinflated tires, weight overload, potholes, a puncture, excess weight, worn tires, or heat. If you should find yourself behind the wheel during a blowout, here are steps to deal with it safely.
Resist the urge to turn the steering wheel, slam on your brakes, or take your foot off the gas pedal. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel's 10 and 2 o'clock positions.
Slow down and pull over your car
Gradually ease off the gas pedal to slow down your car and stabilize the steering. Use your turn signal and steer to the side of the road. Brake lightly until you come to a stop on a level service. The farther away you are from traffic, the safer you'll be.
Turn on your hazard lights
Put the car in park, apply the parking brake, and turn on the hazard lights to make other drivers aware of your disabled vehicle.
Check your surroundings
Please remain in your car until you are calm and it is safe to exit.
Safely change the tire or call roadside assistance
If the area around your vehicle is safe to replace the blown tire, wait for the tire to cool off before changing it. If it's not safe, or you are not comfortable changing the tire, call roadside assistance.
Preventing a tire blowout
Decrease the likelihood of a blowout by taking these simple steps:
Check your vehicle's tire pressure monthly – your owner's manual or sticker inside the driver's side door should have the recommended tire pressure.
Check tire tread – place a penny headfirst into the groove. If you can see all of Lincoln's face, you should have your tires checked. You can also use a digital tire tread depth gauge to measure the tread.
Regularly rotate and align tires – this will help ensure a more even tread wear.
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DriveSafe Online Staff, "Safely Handle Your Vehicle During a Tire Blowout," https://www.drivesafeonline.org/traffic-school/how-to-safely-handle-a-tire-blowout, (September 27, 2020).
"What to Do if You Get a Tire Blowout on the Highway," https://www.safelite.com/resource-center/car-safety/car-safety/2017/07/14/tire-blowout-safety-tips, (July 14, 2017).