Virginia Auto Service

How to Safely Handle a Tire Blowout

Tire blowout season begins in the middle of May and runs through early October. In our last blog, What Causes a Tire Blowout – And How to Prevent It, we discussed what the common causes of a tire blowout are, and what you can do to prevent them. In this post, we will take the topic a step further and explain what you should do in a tire blowout situation.

What Happens When Your Tire Blows?

Knowing what a tire blowout sounds and feels like will help you understand what is happening and what you should do next.

Sounds like- There are three key sounds you may hear when your tire blows. 1. A loud bang or boom when the tire pops resounding throughout the vehicle. 2. A “whooshing” sound, or the sound of air rapidly leaving the tire.  3. A rapid, repeated flopping or flapping noise of the flattened tire hitting the road.

Feels like- When you experience a blowout, the first thing you will feel is the vehicle slowing down a bit. Then, depending on which tire blows, it will pull strongly either to the left or right. If you had a front tire blow, then the force will be felt mostly in the steering of the vehicle. If it was a rear tire, the force will mainly be felt in the seat or body of the vehicle. Your reaction to the blowout should be the same whether it occurred in the front or back of the vehicle.

What to Do When You Have a Blowout

Take a deep breath, stay calm, and follow these tips:

  • Keep a firm, steady grip on the wheel. Avoid jerking before the car has slowed, especially if it is a rear tire blowout. Turning or jerking the wheel at a high speed could result in a spin out.
  • Do not slam on the brakes. If you brake, it could cause you to lose control and skid. Allow your car to slow gradually.
  • Pull to the side of the road. Look for gaps in the traffic to allow you to pull over, gradually releasing the accelerator while you do. Once you are 20 miles per hour or lower, you can gently press on the brakes until you come to a stop.
  • Apply the parking brake and activate emergency flashers. Exit the vehicle only if you are in a safe place to do so.

After a Tire Blowout

After you have come to a complete stop, applied the parking brake, and activated your emergency flashers check your surroundings and make sure it is safe to exit the vehicle. If you have some in your roadside emergency kit, put out reflective triangles or cones. Then, if you know how and you are in a safe location, change your blown tire to your spare. If you are unsure how to change your tire, or the area you are in is unsafe to change a tire in, call for roadside assistance.

Remember, spare tires are only recommended in emergencies and should not be driven over long distances or at high speeds. Before a long road trip especially, read your owner’s manual and learn where your spare tire and the necessary tools are located in your vehicle. Some owner’s manuals offer instructions on how to change a flat tire as well, however, it is a good idea to educate yourself on the process before you are stuck on the side of the road.

We hope you find this quick guide for safely handling a tire blowout helpful. If you haven’t already, check out our previous blog, What Causes a Tire Blowout – And How to Prevent It, for tire blowout prevention tips.

For high-quality auto repair services, give the experts at Virginia Auto Service a try. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online today for quality care and information to help keep your vehicle performing at its best.

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