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How to survive a tire blowout

Tire blowouts happen a lot more frequently than most motorists would care to know. You might think that these incidents happen due to a weak spot in the tire, a nail in the road or too much pressure. While these are indeed frequent causes of a blowout, most are the result of too little air in the tire. The lack of air pressure causes too much flexion in the tire, which causes the tire to overheat.

It doesn't matter how your tire blows; these incidents are extremely dangerous no matter the cause. As such, to prevent your vehicle from ending upside down, it's important that you react to the tire blowout in a very specific way:

  • Don't jerk your steering wheel or hard break in surprise: This is the biggest mistake drivers make. Reacting like this will make your car more difficult to control -- and it could result in a crash.
  • Maintain your hands at 10 and 2: Make it a habit to keep your hands at 10:00 and 2:00 on your steering wheel. Yes, this means both hands. This preparation will prevent numerous crashes, and it will also help you be prepared in the event of an unexpected tire blowout.
  • Give your car a little bit of gas: Your car will want to decelerate quickly after a tire blow. It's important to give your pedal a little bit of gas to keep the momentum and let the vehicle slow down more gradually.
  • Offset the pull: Gently nudge the steering wheel in the opposite direction that your car wants to pull. Don't drastically over-correct, but steer your car enough to offset the pull caused by your tire blowout as you maintain your vehicle's lane.
  • Pull off to the side: As your car stabilizes, allow your vehicle to slow and pull off to the side of the road. Try to distance your car as far from the flow of traffic as you can. Pull into a parking lot if possible.

By "driving through" a blowout with the strategies outlined above, Montana drivers can prevent serious and potentially fatal accidents. If you do get hurt in a crash caused by a blown tire, you might want to investigate whether it happened due to a defective tire -- as this could mean you have a viable personal injury claim against the manufacturer.

Source: Tire Track, "Driving Through Tire Blowouts," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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