There are two scenarios that feature regularly in a paranoid driver’s nightmares: a brake failure, or an unexpected blowout. While mitigating a brake failure requires a constant checking of your vehicles,(and so does preventing a blowout) there is a lot more you can do during a tyre burst. Here are a few steps that you can take if you become prey to an unexpected tyre blowout. These may seem pretty simple, but you will be amazed at how difficult it gets to keep them in mind when you are confronted with an emergency. So it is imperative to keep a cool head and think logically to execute these steps effectively.
1) Ramming the Brake Pedal’s a Big No-No
If the rear tyre of your car bursts, your car is likely to start pirouetting in a dangerous and uncontrolled fashion. And if your front tyre is a goner, your car is going to swing sharply to the side of the tyre that bursts. Though your instincts will be screaming at you to ram the brakes to stop your car, DON’T. This will only cause your car to skid to one side and slide even more out of control. The best way for you to react is to concentrate on steering and allow the car to lose speed naturally.
2) Ease off the Accelerator Smoothly
What you should do, albeit counter intuitively, is to accelerate your car slightly. This move will balance the sharp deceleration that your car undergoes when a tyre pops, and maintain the car’s momentum. Once you have the speed under control, ease off the accelerator very gently. At this point, you may also employ your brakes and notch your car a couple of gears down if the car seems to be skidding out of control.
3) Keep your Vehicle on the Road
While you adjust your feet to make sure no dangerous slamming of pedals is afoot, don’t take your eyes off the road for a second. Your car is going to change directions whimsically when the blowout causes a misbalance, so have both your hands on the steering wheel to keep your vehicle on the road. Concentrate on driving straight and manoeuvre the wheel smartly to account for the swivelling of the car in a particular direction. Don’t forget your basic driver skills: check your mirrors constantly to make sure you don’t run into unsuspecting cars (and cute kittens!).
4) Stability is the Saviour
The basic idea is to keep the car going safely while it loses speed, preferably naturally. Hence, do not indulge in any sudden movements with the steering wheel or the controlling pedals, even if you feel like the car is under control. Limit your movements and conduct them very smoothly to stabilize your car and bring it to a safe spot.
A word to the wise: keeping your driving speeds low is the best way to ensure that you don’t place yourself in mortal danger if you do encounter an unexpected tyre blowout. Also, keeping an eye on the tread of your tyre, or its sidewall goes a long way in anticipating blowouts.
However, emergencies tend to visit without notice, so drill these pointers into your head to drive through a blowout safely.
Chief Tyre Consultant at Tyre Shopper, UK, Azzam Sheikh contributes regularly articles on .