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Tire blowouts and making a safe stop

Tire blowouts can be a very serious event depending on how the driver handles it and the size of the tire. If a tire shreds, it leaves debris all over the ground, and that can be a risk to other drivers. Losing pressure in a tire so quickly can also pull the vehicle to one side or the other, making it hard to control and a possible hazard to others.

What usually causes a tire to blow out?

Normally, a tire blowout is a result of the vehicle weighing too much for the tires to support or because of damage to the tire directly. For example, if a large commercial vehicle is overloaded with 1,000 pounds more than it should have on board, the tires may not be able to support the weight and may pop. With a direct impact, a driver may go over a sharp object, causing the tire to deflate rapidly.

What should you do if your tire blows?

The initial thing most people try to do is to put on the brakes and steer the vehicle. The problem is that the brakes can cause the vehicle to slow oddly and even spin out due to a loss in traction. It's best to use both hands to control the wheel while pressing the acceleration to maintain the vehicle's momentum. Then, coasting and slowly coming to a stop is possible, since the car is under better control.

If a person loses control, that's when an accident is possible; swerving into another lane or spinning are both possible. Although this is an unexpected event, the driver could be held responsible for any damage or injuries caused.

Source: Tire Rack, "Driving Through Tire Blowouts," accessed Aug. 09, 2016

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