How to Drive Safely Through a Tire Blowout

You are driving on a highway, paying attention to the road ahead. So – BANG! A sound like a gunshot pierces the air and your car begins to veer. You just had a tire blowout. What you do in the next few seconds will make a big difference. Depending on what you do, you may end up with a simple flat tire or your car in a ditch. Read on to learn not only how to safely handle a blowout, but also what you can do to prevent it and what to do next.


A flat tire is a special type of flat tire. The sidewall has cracked, leaving a large tear in the rim that cannot be repaired. While many believe that a blown tire is caused in part by overinflation, the real culprit is actually the opposite: tires that are flat. It is not rubber and steel that make a tire capable of supporting the weight of a car and its passengers. It is the air. Without enough air, the components inside the tires flex and heat up until everything breaks and an explosion occurs. If the car is carrying a heavy load, the probability of an explosion is increased. This is why it is important to regularly check your tire pressure. The proper pressure for automobile tires is indicated on the driver’s side door jamb.

Another common way to puncture a tire is by driving on very worn and very old tires. After a while, the gum begins to thin and a blowout is more likely to occur. To see if your tires are too worn, use the penny test. Insert the edge of a penny into the tread of your tire so that Abe Lincoln’s head is hidden by the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then his tires are too worn to drive. However, if you can’t afford to replace the tire, try rubbing it in with vegetable oil. The oil will hydrate the gum, allowing it to be more flexible and reducing the chances of it bursting.

What to do during a blowout

When your tire blows, what you shouldn’t do is apply the brake. Because one of your tires is now effectively useless, the brake will apply unevenly, causing your vehicle to swerve. If you are driving a truck or SUV, then it is quite possible to flip your car over when braking during a blowout.

Instead, you need to hit the gas after a blowout. This may seem counterintuitive, but when a tire blows, your car’s speed can suddenly drop due to drag caused by the flat tire. You should step on the gas for just a moment, so that the cars behind you are not surprised by your sudden drop in speed and crash into you.

After you’ve quickly pressed the gas pedal, you will notice that your car will want to veer in the direction of the blowout. Keep your car stable, allow it to gradually slow down, and only when you are going less than 30 miles per hour should you drive the vehicle to the side of the road.

What to do after a blowout

Once you have successfully driven your car on the side of the road, you can start thinking about the steps you need to take next. You should always have a spare tire on hand. Now is the time to change floors and continue to the nearest service station. However, you need to make sure that there is enough space around your car to work freely.

Do not attempt to change the tire if doing so will put you on the road and in a dangerous situation due to oncoming traffic. If you don’t have enough space to change the tire, or if you don’t have a spare, you should call a tow truck. Depending on where you are, you may decide to have the truck drop off your car at your home or at the nearest mechanic.

A blowout is likely to occur at least once in a person’s life. The important thing, above all, is to stay calm. A blowout is usually accompanied by a loud bang. Don’t let this make you nervous. Follow the correct safety procedures and you’ll be on the road again in no time.

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