How to Regain Control during a Tire Blowout
A tire blowout can leave you reeling, both emotionally and literally, and regaining power of an out-of-control vehicle takes some quick thinking, a cool head, and some skilled driving.
“The goal in any blowout is to keep the vehicle balanced and controllable. Do not panic. Any overreaction—including slamming on the brakes or abruptly removing your foot from the accelerator—can result in a loss of control over the vehicle,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Once your failing and/or exploding tire has caught your full attention, and you have resisted the urge to freak out, hit the brakes, or dissolve into a pool of panic, it’s time to take the wheel in both hands and keep your vehicle’s speed steady (if it’s feasible and safe to do), according to the NHTSA.
The next step is to slowly lay off the gas.
“Correct the steering as necessary to stabilize your vehicle and regain control. Look where you want the vehicle to go and steer in that direction,” advises the NHTSA. “Once your vehicle has stabilized, continue to slow down and pull off the road where and when you judge it’s safe to do so.”
Whether your front or back tire blows out, you should follow the above tips, according to the NHTSA. A back tire blowout will manifest more vibration or pressure in the body or seat of your vehicle whereas if the front tire blows out, the vehicle steering will project the bulk of the force.
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Even with proper and regular tire maintenance, a tire blowout can still happen. According to PopularMechanics.com writer Mac Demere, tires can be detrimentally impacted by the outside temperature—especially during the warmer months of mid-May to early October—including under inflation, collisions with potholes, improper tire pressure, and overloading your vehicle.