Boom! Whoosh! Flap! Those are not sounds you ever want to hear coming from your car, especially from your tires. When a tire blows out, it can be sudden and scary, and one wrong move can lead to a serious accident.
There are three main causes of tire blowouts:
- Underinflation. You wouldn’t go for a long bike ride without first checking the air in your tires, and driving is no different! Without proper air pressure, the internal parts of the tire, like the steel and rubber, over-flex and weaken. To Avoid: Newer cars have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) but the system does not alert the driver until the tires are extremely underinflated. Periodically check the air pressure of your tires, or make sure it is done when your car goes in for maintenance or repairs.
- Overloading. This problem particularly affects people with trucks. When you have a large car, of course your friends are going to ask you to help them move their furniture, or call you up when they need to move mulch or tree trimmings. But too much weight in the bed or trunk can put serious pressure on the tires, even if the rest of the car can handle it.To Avoid: Keep the tires in mind. When moving heavy items, consider making a few trips, and don’t try to fit too much into your car.
- Potholes. Hitting a pothole, curb, or other obstruction can pinch the tire, causing the internal components to tear or fray. If the tire is immediately sliced up, it might fail right away. Other times, the damage from potholes is very subtle, taking weeks or even months to show up. To Avoid: With safe and responsible driving, this problem can generally be avoided! Keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Do your best to avoid a run-in with a pothole or other object, without swerving your car or going off the road.
When a tire blows out, quick thinking is vital. When faced with this challenge, most drivers have the immediate reaction to slam on the breaks. However, this causes the vehicle to lose all traction with the road, potentially flipping the car. It’s actually better to keep driving, or even accelerate if necessary. This allows you to retain control of the car. Avoid braking, if possible, and let the car come to a stop on its own. When the car has slowed down, safely pull over, if possible, and put on the hazard lights. Continuing to drive with a blowout tire may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually the best way to handle the situation.
Check your tires, drive safely, and most importantly, stay calm!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.