A TYRE BLOWOUT is something you probably will not experience during your entire motoring life but – just in case it happens (and that happening can be catastrophic) – here are some suggestions from MasterDrive.
The organisation’s MD, Eugene Herbert, says the most common causes are hitting a pothole, under-inflated or worn tyres, or fitting used tyres. Whatever, should you experience a blowout while driving, here are some tips reduce and perhaps mitigate the danger…
Maybe even save your life.
“Hold the steering wheel firmly. DO NOT slam on the brakes,” Herbert warns. ”Lift feet off the pedals and let the car slow naturally – which could also prevent the tyre being shed from what might be an expensive wheel rim.
Then follow these tips…
Steer towards the left of the road and, if there is one, onto the emergency lane,
Do not stop in the middle of the road or on the highway; keep the vehicle in motion until you reach the side of the road.
You can continue driving – slowly – on a flat. Your personal safety is more important than any further wheel-rim damage. Indeed, some vehicles have run-flat tyres that can handle 80km of use, depending on the brand.
As soon as it is safe to do so take one hand off the steering-wheel to switch on your hazard lights and brake gently as the vehicle slows.
When stationary, apply handbrake and place your emergency triangle (if you don’t have one, buy one today and put it in your boot) about 45m behind your car. If you can, call for assistance now – should you sort things out (as below) you can always call to cancel.
BE SAFE, STAY INSIDE
It can be difficult to decide what to do then, given our opportunistic roadside attacks. If you know how to change a tyre – and can do so without endangering yourself! – do so as quickly as possible. Ask passengers to keep watch on the surroundings.
Wait in the vehicle if you are cannot do anything else.
Ultimately, however, prioritise your tyre maintenance.
“Consider investing in a quality tyre-pressure gauge and use it every time you fill up or before a long journey,” Herbert says, ”Don’t drive on worn, expired, or damaged tyres and, to repeat, DO NOT buy used tyres.”