Losing control of your vehicle while behind the wheel has to be one of the scariest experiences a driver can ever encounter. This is precisely what can occur in the event of a tire blowout. A tire blowout happens when a vehicle’s tire suddenly loses air, causing instability for the driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 600 people were killed in 2019 as a result of tire-related accidents.
Avoiding Tire Blowouts
While not all tire blowout accidents are preventable, there are steps that drivers and car owners can take to avoid these types of accidents from happening.
First, it is important to understand the causes of a tire blowout, which can be many things including:
- Underinflated tires
- Overinflated tires
- Defective tires
- Wear and tear
- Road damage
- Significant changes in weather
- Extreme heat causing tires to overinflate
Second, it is critical to choose the right tires not only for your vehicle, but also for your driving purposes. The tires should be chosen based on the right fit for your car, the terrain where you live, and the typical weather in which you drive your vehicle.
Third, proper maintenance is critical. Because a tire blowout happens when a tire suddenly loses air, you can reduce the risk of experiencing this by regularly checking your tire pressure, especially during dramatic temperature changes. You should also regularly check your tires’ balance and alignment, as this will prolong the life of your tires. Finally, follow your tire rotation schedule—which varies by the type of car—as it can reduce irregular wear and tear to your tires.
Fourth, know that where you drive (i.e., the conditions of the roadway) impacts your risk of a tire blowout. If the roads are poorly constructed or maintained, littered with debris, or have other hazards your changes increase significantly. Simply put, be aware of where you drive and what you might confront.
Finally, be sure to get rid of old tires. Do not keep your tires longer than necessary. Doing so will increase your risk of a tire blow out because tires get worn down over time due to use, wear and tear, and are affected by other environmental conditions.
Tire Blowout? Here is What to Do
Because not all tire blowouts are preventable, there are things you can do to help reduce your chance of an accident or injuries if you experience one. According to the NHTSA, you should take the following steps if you experience a tire blowout while behind the wheel:
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel
- If it is safe to do so, maintain your car’s speed
- Release the accelerator gradually
- Stabilize your vehicle by correcting the steering
- After stabilizing, keep slowing down and pull off the road safely
Contact Our Accident Attorneys
No one wants to be involved in a tire blowout accident. If you experience one, however, the above tips should help you stay as safe as possible. If you or someone you know has been hurt in any type of accident, contact the experienced accident attorneys at H&P Law today. We will fight for the best outcome available to you.