There isn’t a doubt that a tyre blowout ranks the highest on any highway driver’s list of fears. With good reason, as a tyre burst could lead to a complete loss of car control. The good news is, with tyre technology continually improving, blowouts are becoming an infrequent occurrence. Still, they do happen and it’s best that you know what to do if you suffer one.
1. You should start with maintaining a safe driving speed. The lower your speed, the higher your chances of survival when you suffer a tyre blowout.
2. Though it might be the instinctive thing to do, do your best not to slam on the break pedal. If you do so, you will further imbalance the vehicle and throw it out of control.
3. Don’t immediately take your foot off the accelerator. Do it slowly and gradually. In fact, Michelin recommends that you maintain accelerator input momentarily, before releasing it slowly.
4. Do your best to maintain the car going straight. moving sideways or turning with a blown tire will disturb your car’s stability. If your car is pulling to one side, just pull the steering in the opposite direction to keep it going straight.
5. Do not attempt to over-correct. The key is to maintain the vehicle’s stability. A sharp yank of the steering wheel can result in a rollover. Even when you have gained control and are slowly moving to a safe parking spot, do so with the mildest steering inputs possible.
6. Allow the vehicle to gradually coast to a stop. Use engine braking if necessary. Lightly engage the brakes only when your car has decelerated to a slow speed. Use the turn indicators and pull over safely off the road. Drive on the bare metal wheel if you have to, but do not stop in the middle of the road as you run the risk of getting hit by a speeding car. Remember to activate your hazard lights when stopped.
Remember, always put on your seat belts.