7 min read
What are Tire Blowouts and How to Prevent Them?
Do you know what to do in the event of a tire blowout while you are driving? We walk you through why they occur, and what to do in the event that it happens to you.
I. What Happens When Your Tire Blows Out? – What is a tire blowout?
Imagine you are driving on the highway and suddenly you hear a loud bang sound. Then, you immediately start losing control of your vehicle. If so, you may have just experienced a tire blowout. You must be wondering what you should do afterward. Don’t worry! This article will equip you with the necessary steps on what to do when a tire blowout happens and how to prevent it.
Before explaining what happens when your tire blows out, let’s define what a blowout means first. A tire blowout is a sudden loss of air pressure in an inflatable tire, accompanied by a loud explosive sound like a bomb. Aside from the sound, you will also notice other things such as your car will slow down, beginning to tilt to either the left or the right, and losing control.
These are the experiences that occur with a tire blowout. But why does it happen in the first place? Now Let's consider the causes of the blowout.
II. What Causes a Tire BLOWOUT? A tire blowout occurs due to various reasons highlighted below:
People are often wary of personally inflating their tires for fear of a blowout because an underinflated tire can lead to a blowout. When the air pressure in a tire is insufficient, the tire begins to sag and flex beyond the shape to support the vehicle's load. This will lead to overheating, which will break the rubber's bond with the reinforced layers.
To avoid under-inflating your tire, always adhere to the manufacturer's suggestion on tire pressure and try your best to maintain that pressure. There is a tire pressure monitoring system in new vehicles that you can use to monitor your tire pressure.
Since multiple factors contribute to blowout, handling under-inflation will either eliminate or reduce your chances of having a tire blowout.
Vehicle abuse usually occurs due to overloading, especially among truck owners. They overload their trucks with all sorts of cargo, ignoring the designed capacity of the vehicle. All vehicles have a weight rating calculated based on the tires' ability. When a car is overloaded, it squishes the tire and causes overheating. And as the overheating persists, the tire ends up falling apart. So, before loading your car or truck, get to know the design weight rating to avoid a blowout.
3) Extreme Heat
Though extreme heat is not a direct cause of tire blowout, it contributes a fair share. And, you can see this happen during the heat of the summer, usually between May and August. And this period is termed the tire blowout season because vehicles experience lots of blowouts due to a combination of overloaded vehicular movement and the hot weather.
4) Impact Damage
The accidental impact on cars can lead to injury in your tire, which can be dangerous in the long run. When your car slams against curbs and potholes, it leads to shearing pressure on the tire's composition. A one-off bump on the road will not cause a blowout, but a continuous bump will gradually but surely lead to a blowout of the tire.
I. If While Driving A Tire Suddenly Blows Out You Should
1) Do not panic, and try to keep yourself as calm as possible.
2) Hold your steering wheel firmly to maintain the vehicle's direction.
3) Tap on the gas gently to briefly accelerate to give the car balance.
4) Do not hit the brake pad; avoid stepping on the brakes.
5) Gently take your foot off the gas to gradually bring the car to a stop.
6) Avoid steering the wheel either left or right; keep it straight.
7) Roll your vehicle to a freeway exit to avoid causing traffic.
8) Place your foot on the brake when the speed has reduced.
9) Put on your emergency flashers to indicate incoming vehicles.
10) You can get out of your car and step aside while waiting for help.
II. What Should You Do After A Tire Blowout?
After successfully steering your car to safety, you can either wait for help or help yourself. If you are comfortable changing your spare tire, you should do that and continue your journey. But immediately you get home, ensure you replace your tire because spare tires were not designed for long-term use.
III. How To Prevent A Tire Blowout
1) Check Tire Inflation Regularly
2) Ensure your tire inflation aligns with the recommended tire pressure that you can find in your vehicle's manual. But modern cars come with tire pressure monitor sensors that display your tire pressure gauge. So, if you notice that your tire is underinflated, you can change it or visit a technician.
3) Check Tire Load Index And Rating Speed
4) You can find the recommended tire load index in the vehicle's manual. Ensure that you do not exceed the recommended speed rating and load index to avoid overloading the car.
5) Avoid Potholes And Other Road Hazards
6) When driving, you should observe the roads and drive carefully to avoid potholes and other road hazards.
7) Don’t Drive On Worn Or Old Tires
8) When your tires are worn or become old, ensure you replace them. Tires have a lifespan, so don’t forget to have your tires changed routinely.
9) Regular Tire Inspection
10) Try to check your tires for cracks, bulges, low tread, punctures, and shifted belts.
Thanks to this article, you now know how to deal with a blowout when it occurs. However, it is recommended that you should take preventive measures to avoid a blowout as it is often said, "prevention is better than cure."