How to handle a tyre blowout

 

Given the numerous potholes on many of our roads, it’s only a matter of time before the encounter realises something more than just a buckled rim. Chances are that it will be a ‘dramatic’ blowout, so best be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

 

This can happen anywhere, anytime. It can be a frustrating situation for a busy delivery driver on a schedule but more importantly, a tyre blowout can pose a serious safety hazard. In fact, in the US, tyre blowouts are estimated to cause more than 400 fatalities, over 10 000 injuries and some 78 000 crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

Keeping one’s cool and maintaining control of the vehicle are the two key steps to recovering safely from a blowout. Here is what MasterDrive experts say drivers should do if they suddenly experience a flat tyre:

 

  • Don’t hit the brakes: slamming on the brakes will only make matters worse.
  • Accelerate slightly: it may sound counterintuitive, but slight acceleration will help you maintain control. Also, when you first realise you have a blowout, keep hands firmly on the wheel and keep driving straight ahead.
  • Grip the steering wheel: to avoid losing control, make sure your hands are in the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position and maintain a firm grasp on the steering wheel.
  • Ease off the accelerator: when you can reduce speed safely, the goal is to gradually slow down rather than suddenly.
  • Maintain your course: as the vehicle slows down, maintain your direction and stay in your lane.
  • Apply the brakes: when the vehicle slows down to 50km/h, gently apply the brakes while maintaining a firm grasp on the wheel.
  • Put on your indicators: prepare to pull over to the left (preferably) by engaging your indicators. Try not to stop on the right of the road if possible, as it’s not the safest place to stop.
  • Pull over to the left side of road: once safely out of the way, bring your vehicle to a stop.
  • Use emergency flashers: indicate your vehicle is out of commission by using emergency flashers and/or reflective cones around your vehicle.

 

Watch what to do here:

 

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