Experiencing a blowout when driving, particularly if driving at speed, is not just inconvenient, it can be scary and dangerous too. The best way to avoid such an incident is to drive carefully, park clear of kerbs, and make sure that your tyres are well looked after, and your wheels are correctly aligned. However, sometimes these things are simply unavoidable. There may be nothing you can do to avoid a blowout, but it can help to have a little bit of knowledge about what to do if it happens to you in order to keep yourself, your passengers, and other road users safe.
For front tyre blowouts
If your front tyre has a serious puncture, you will notice it pulling to one side. As soon as you notice a heavy pull, firmly steer in the opposite direction to counteract the pull. Avoid using the footbrake if you can; if there is a clear gap between you and the car in front, take your foot off the accelerator and slowly ease to a stop. If you apply the brakes, there is a chance that you will lock your back wheels; you are aiming for slow, steady speed reduction. If you are on a motorway, gently steer to the hard shoulder and continue to drive there until you lose speed.
For back blowouts
If a back tyre is the culprit, rather than a hard pull to one side, you may notice your vehicle weaving. As with a front blowout, the best thing to do is hold the wheel firmly and try to keep on a straight course. Don’t be tempted to slam on the brakes as this may cause the car to spin; something that is both terrifying and dangerous. Keep your eyes peeled for the first opportunity to pull over safely, and do so, gradually reducing your speed by removing power rather than applying brakes.
If you have a blow out
Once you have stopped the car safely, put your hazard lights on and call a recovery service. If they are estimating long recovery times, it may be worth contacting local recovery services to see if they can help you.
Not all blowouts are avoidable, but some are.
- Take a look at your handbook so you know the best tyre pressures for your vehicle.
- Regularly check your tyre pressure, especially if ambient temperature fluctuates a lot, and if you are planning a long journey.
- Give your tyres a look over before you go on any long trips, keeping an eye out for unusual wear or any other obvious damage.
Encountering the unexpected whilst driving can be scary and often you don’t have time to think. Try to stay calm and focus on your safety and that of your fellow passengers. If you are looking for mobile tyre replacement, take a look at Trust A Garage’s rated and reviewed services; for more advice, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.