Even experienced drivers know what a frightening situation it is to have a tire blow out while driving at highway speeds. Keeping your tires well-maintained and at the right pressure is important for preventing a blowout, but road debris can destroy a perfectly good tire at any time.
If you happen to be in the unfortunate situation of a blowout, try to remember not to panic. It’s essential that you retain control and balance of your vehicle. If you hit the brakes too hard or take your foot off the accelerator too quickly, you will lose stability and control.
The most effective way to maneuver through a tire blowout is to first slowly take your foot off the accelerator. Then, as you gradually reduce speed, correct your steering until you regain control and stabilize the vehicle. By this time it should be safe for you to slowly pull off the road. No matter which side of the vehicle, or whether the blow occurs in the front or back, a tire blow out should always be handled the same way.
Though you should handle every blowout the same way, front and rear tire blowouts do not feel the same. A front blowout is felt in the steering of the vehicle, while a rear blowout is felt in the vehicle’s body.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) website, www.safercar.gov, has some helpful flash animation videos that demonstrate what to do and what not to do in the event of a blow out: