TIRE EXPLOSION - CAUSES AND HOW TO RESPOND
Accidents can happen because of various reasons and may lead to economic losses, even fatalities. Apart from drowsiness or brake failure, tire explosion is another common cause to be aware of.
Stay safe and make a new habit of checking the condition of your car prior to driving. The following outlines some key points for you to be mindful of.
1. Air pressure
We tend to overlook the air pressure of the tires, but this can cause serious damage. It affects tire grip, especially during braking. The rule of thumb is to apply air pressure level as recommended by the manufacturer of the car. Check again the manual book. Too high or too low could harm your tires, or even cause them to explode. In cases where tire explosion occurs at high speed, the car could flip.
2. Avoid excessive load
Excessive load can similarly lead to tire blowout. Check your manual to know the exact load capacity of your car and make sure you don’t transport anything that exceeds the limit.
3. Flat Tire Quick-Fix
Tire patching and plugging are common flat tire solutions. However, they are quick fixes and therefore temporary. Get it repaired properly to avoid further damage. Without it, the tire may lose even more air. After a while, it will start to lose air pressure, and you know what comes next..
4. Avoid poor road conditions
When your tires are frequently in contact with potholes, the bead can get damaged, or even separated. Tire bead protects the sidewall, and tire blowout can easily happen without the benefit of that protection.
Now that you know more on the prevention side, it’s also important to know what to do in a situation of tire blowout. Accidents may happen nevertheless and knowing how to respond helps you make good decisions.
First, do not panic and avoid sudden braking. When you slam on brake, the car’s weight will shift to the front wheels and it will be difficult for the driver to keep the car in control. In fact, given a momentum, it increases the risk for the car to flip.
Next, try to sense source of explosion and steer accordingly in response without making sudden turns. When blowout affects your front tires, try to grip the steering wheel firmly and keep the car as straight as possible. The steering wheel will be pulled to the direction of damage, expect to exert some power.
It is relatively easier when damage affects your rear tires, since you can rely on the front tires for control. Reduce speed and shift to lower gears gradually to avoid uncontrollable movement. As you slow down, turn the signal on while heading towards the roadside and don’t forget to turn the hazard lights on once you come to a stop at the side of the road.