Having a high-speed tire blowout on a highway is the stuff of nightmares. YouTube is full of videos depicting vehicles with blowouts getting into violent accidents. However, a tire blowout does not have to end this way. When handled correctly, you can calmly make your way to a shoulder and come to a stop with only a damaged tire rim. The one requirement is that the road ahead is straight and the traffic situation does not demand immediate braking.
Handling a Tire Blowout
The reason blowouts often end badly is that the natural instinctive reaction of hitting the brakes and hard steering causes the car to go out of control. Instead, you will have to do something counterintuitive. This is to keep your foot away from the brake pedal, keep the wheels straight, and apply a little gas. A little acceleration stabilizes the car. Do not overdo this however. Keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel while holding it straight to resist any side pulls. Turn on your hazard lights and gradually let up on the accelerator. Continue moving straight ahead while coasting. Wind drag and tire resistance will slow down your car.
At this point, your foot is off the accelerator and you have not used the brakes at all. When your car reaches 25 mph, very gently apply the brakes while moving straight ahead. Look for a place on the right shoulder to pull over. Use your turn signal and ease your car to the shoulder.
Avoiding Tire Blowouts
While tire defects sometimes occur, the main reason for tire blowouts is driving on chronically under inflated tires. This over flexes the rubber which causes it to weaken and overheat. Use a tire pressure gauge to check your pressure before driving while the tires are still cool. Visual inspection will not reliably detect an under inflated tire. The tire warning light often turns on when the tires are grossly under inflated and therefore should not be relied upon for tire maintenance purposes.
If you were injured in an accident by another driver, seek the legal advice of an experienced Prince George’s County accident attorney. There is no reason you should bear the expenses and other hardships on your own. Contact us at (844)-Take-MyCase and www.844TakeMyCase.com.
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