Tire blowouts are one of the most common causes of car accidents. These crashes often happen at high rates of speed, resulting in physical damage to the vehicle and injuries to its driver. The National Transportation Safety Board says that on average, 500 people die every year in tire-related passenger vehicle crashes and 19,000 of those who survive the crash are injured in some way. Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent tire-related collisions altogether. The tips below can help you prevent a blowout before it happens and make the right decisions to avoid an accident if a blowout occurs.
Prevention is Key
The best way to deal with a collision is not to have one in the first place. For this reason, it’s important to recognize ways to keep your tires is good condition. Tire-blowout season is from May through early October, so during these warmer months you should keep an even closer watch on your wheel.
Most people already know the first step to preventing tire blowouts: make sure your tires are properly inflated and aren’t showing any wear. Older tires should also be checked for bubbles and blisters. Most newer vehicles have warning signals that will warn you when your air pressure isn’t quite right. But keep in mind that your car won’t always alert you of under-inflation if the tire is already seriously low. For this reason, it is recommended that you get a professional check on a regular basis.
Drivers should also be careful to avoid things in the road that can cause a tire blowout such as potholes. The scary part about these road hazards is that they don’t always cause a problem right away. Often times, the internals of a tire are frayed after hitting a pothole which causes a blowout later on.
Finally, be sure to keep a check on tire recalls. Studies show only twenty percent of drivers actually trade in their recalled tires, leaving the eighty percent at risk of a blowout related collision.
Handling Tire Blowouts Safely
If a blowout does happen while you’re on the road, you’ll know it. Two things will happen: your vehicle will begin to slow down and then it will start pulling to one side (the left or the right). Just seconds before you are struggling to keep control of the car, you might hear a startling noise. It is important to remain calm and avoid making dangerous driving decisions based on fear. This is extremely important since losing a tire means losing a fourth of the vehicle’s traction. Any sudden movements can cause a rollover or collision with another vehicle traveling nearby.
Avoid the gut-instinct to hit the brakes. It’s important to keep the same speed immediately after the blowout so that you remain in control. Sudden braking can actually increase the loss of control and cause your car to swerve. Instead, get a firm grip on the steering wheel and do not allow it to move. If necessary, offset the pulling by gently counter-steering in the opposite direction.
Once the car is stabilized, pull over safely and turn on your flashers. Never stop in the middle of the road or in any place that would put you in danger of being struck from behind. This is especially important to remember if the accident occurs at night or in a place where another driver’s view of your vehicle would be impaired. Remembering not to follow to closely or alongside other cars can also help you avoid a collision in the case of a blowout.
If a Collision Couldn’t be Avoided
Even after taking preventative measures, there are times that tire blowouts and resultant collision can’t be avoided. It is important to contact your insurance company right away to find out what will be covered. Usually comprehensive insurance will cover the damage, but other times, the retailer or manufacturer of a faulty tire could be to blame and warranty coverage will kick in.
Regardless of who is at fault, Orlando Auto Body will treat your repairs as if they were our own. We want you to be completely satisfied with your car repair so that it’s repaired to its pre-accident condition. Contact us at 480-351-6872 for a free repair quote.