August 19, 2014What Causes A Tyre Blowout?
In a split second your drive has gone from calm to crunch!
Tyre blowouts are quick, scary and if handled incorrectly, potentially fatal. Here we outline some driving tips and tyre safety rules to help you stay ‘tyre safe’ on the road.
What Causes A Tyre Blowout?
Tyre blowouts can be caused by a variety of problems. Under inflation of the tyre is one of the most common causes. When the tyre is underinflated it can begin to bulge causing a weak point in your tyre. This bulge will cause friction within the tyre when driving at speed. Friction causes heat which can eventually mean the tyre bursts. In extreme cases, the friction can cause the tyre to become engulfed in flames.
What Should You Do If A Tyre Blows?
There are two really important driving rules to remember when faced with a blowout situation.
Here’s what you should NOT do:
• Do not brake. Don’t panic. If you panic you may instinctively brake but this could make your situation more dangerous. Applying the brakes will cause an even greater imbalance on the vehicle’s stability.
• Do not abruptly release your foot from the accelerator. Again, this does go against what you may instinctively wish to do. Stay calm. Rapidly releasing the accelerator pedal causes the vehicle to transfer more of its weight from the rear to front tyres. When a tyre is flat, this can lead to loss of control of the vehicle.
So, here are the 3 steps to what you SHOULD do:
- Gradually release the accelerator pedal.
- Calmly stabilise your steering to regain control. Look where you want the vehicle to go and steer in that direction.
- Continue to slow down and pull over to the side of the road when you judge it is safe to do so.
What To Do After a Blowout?
Your safety and the safety of your passengers is key. Put on your hazard lights and get out of the car. If you have suffered your blowout on a motorway, use the passenger side door to avoid any risk of being injured by passing traffic. Stand at a safe distance and away from your vehicle. You will need to replace your tyre but this should never be attempted on the hard shoulder of a motorway, always call your breakdown service.
Here at Treadfirst, we offer a free tyre safety check to help keep your tyres in tip-top condition. Here’s our tyre care advice:
- Over-inflated tyres cause excess wear on a tyres centre tread.
- Underinflated tyres cause excess wear to the outer tread areas.
- Any cut deep enough to reach internal structure renders tyres unsafe and in need of replacement.
- Check your tyre pressures!