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July 9, 2014

How to Keep Control of Your Vehicle if you have a Blowout While Driving

A blowout, whether it is something that happens on a front wheel or a rear wheel, is a terrifying thing, and the faster you are going when it occurs, the more terrifying it will be. In general, you will first hear an extremely loud pop, followed by your car veering to the right or left. While this event can be very frightening, you will be able to to keep control of your car and minimize the damage that is done as long as you keep your head, and avoid panicking!

First, do not release the wheel, and do not slam on the breaks. Keep your foot on the gas pedal, but slowly remove the pressure, allowing your car to slow naturally. Turn the wheel to the opposite side of the skid, as this will create a situation where you can correct away from the spin. Do not jerk the wheel, instead, keep the motion as steady as you can.

Instead, maintain your car’s motion by moving in the same direction, and turn on your hazard lights. As you do so, signal your intention to get off the road. As soon as your car is not yawing in one direction or another, your next priority is to get the car stopped out of the path of traffic. You may do this by steering to the shoulder of the road or by getting off at a nearby exit. In either case, you must do this at once.

If at all possible, do not stay in traffic. When your car is slowed down to about 30 miles per hour, you should be able to safely roll it to the shoulder, or an exit. Apply the brakes slowly and carefully to prevent your car from flying into a spin, and remember that the slower you are going in a car with a blown out tire, the safer you are. When you are off the main road, brake slowly until you are at a full stop.

Once you are stopped, make sure that you check your surroundings before you get out of your car. A tire blowout can leave you feeling panicked and afraid, and when you are full of adrenaline, it is easy to hurt yourself. Check to make sure that you are not getting out of the car into oncoming traffic or falling into a ditch. Leave your emergency lights on.

At this point, it is time to assess the damage and look at what you can do about it. Do not attempt to change the tire if the conditions are too dangerous to do so. If that is the case, you might need to call a towing service to tow your vehicle. Do not be afraid to call for professional help. If you are going to be there for a while, raise your car hood and tie something fluttering and light-colored to the radio antenna to signal to oncoming cars that you are present.

Finally, after a tire blowout, take your car to your mechanic to check the rim. You never know what kind of damage can be done. Also make sure that you inflate your tires properly, as blowouts are frequently caused by low tire pressure.

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