We think a blown tire is one of the scariest unexpected things that can happen to you while driving (hydroplaning and brakes going out are pretty bad too). While blowouts are not imminent, it’s still good to be prepared and know what to do ahead of time. So if you’re driving down the interstate minding your own business and your tire blows out, here’s some advice and direction from your trusted mechanic at Hoover Automotive in Hoover, AL.
First, don’t panic. Easier said than done, right? Panic is expected and even normal, but don’t let it affect your actions or this situation could get much worse. Do your best to stay calm and handle the situation smoothly. Second, know that doing nothing is better than doing something drastic. Over correcting or slamming on the brakes are probably the worst moves you can make, since both can lead to losing total control of your vehicle and causing a wreck.
What to Expect
There won’t always be a loud, explosion-type sound, but it will be drastic and with sudden results. If a front tire blows out, your car will pull you to the left or right (depending on which one is flat) as the steering wheel starts to vibrate. If a rear t ire blows out, you’ll feel the car wobbling back and forth, like fishtailing. It will feel different than a standard flat tire situation.
What to Do
Here’s what to do if your tire blows out:
- Keep a firm grip on the wheel.
- Don’t brake! Braking may cause skidding and increased loss of control of the vehicle. Try to maintain your speed and then slowly slow down by taking your foot off the accelerator as you steer left or right to stay within your lane. Do not attempt to swerve off of the road.
- Pullover to the side of the road carefully and only once you’ve indicated your move with your blinker. Only brake once you reach 20 mph or under.
- Once you’ve stopped, apply your parking brake.
- Turn on your hazard lights. Lights alert others that your car is disabled so that they slow down and move around you.
- Carefully get out and inspect the damaged tire. Put on the spare tire if it’s safe to do so and you know how. Otherwise, call for roadside assistance.
Now you know what to do if you have a blowout while driving, but did you know you can help prevent this scary event? Your tires are more likely to blow out if they have a lot of wear and tear from lots of mileage. Also, most blowouts happen when driving on underinflated tires at high speeds. It’s recommended to have your tires checked for damage and pressure levels before a road trip. In fact, it’s the first thing listed on this road trip checklist from AAA. We also recommend checking your tire pressure once a month and paying attention to any lights on your dashboard that may indicate an issue with your tires.
If you do have a blowout, you can bring your vehicle to your trusted mechanic at Hoover Automotive right off of Old Montgomery Highway in Hoover, AL. In order to prevent a blowout, we do recommend getting new tires when it’s time (based on mileage or wear) and we are able to provide that service at our shop.