Q: What is it with the time of year? The highways seem littered with tire blowout debris. I do not want to be one of those people stuck on the side of the road with a tire blowout in the middle of summer! How can I prevent tire blowouts and what should I do if it happens to me?
A: As temperatures climb and road travel becomes more frequent, tire blowouts are definitely more common. In fact according to the National Transportation Safety Board “more than 600 people are killed and about 19,000 are injured in tire-related crashes each year.” In Arizona, you typically can’t go far without seeing tire debris or the unfortunate driver stuck by the side of the road. How can you prevent tire blowout from happening to you?
The following are some steps you can take today to drive more safely tomorrow:
Check Your Tire Pressure:
Underinflated tires are just as dangerous as overinflated tires! The internal components of your tire need proper air pressure to flex and expand. Too little pressure causes the tire to flex beyond its limits leading to internal component weakening and eventually failure.
Check your tire pressure when the temperature of the tires is consistent with the outside air temperature. This is usually at night or early in the morning before you start your day. You should find your manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure either on the door jam, on the vehicle door edge, or in your vehicle owner’s manual. If you cannot find it, let us know. We would be happy to show you!
Know Your Tire’s Weight Limit:
Do not overload your car. Know how much weight your tires can handle. It is usually in the same place as the recommended tire pressure.Remember the maximum weight a tire can manage is only if the tire is inflated to maximum pressure. Overloading your car on underinflated tires is hazardous.
Check Your Tires Frequently for Wear and Tear:
An unnoticed puncture causing a small leak overtime, a road hazard that pinched the tire, or uneven tire wear and tear, can accelerate a tire’s failure. Have your tires checked frequently for wear patterns, tread depth, cracks and tears.
Ensuring your tires are rotated every 7,500 miles can help prevent uneven wear patterns as well as allow a visual inspection of your tire by a trained professional.
If you experience a blowout DO NOT IMMEDIATELY HIT THE BRAKES! Instead, maintain constant pressure on the accelerator to allow the car to continue its momentum. Then gently start counter steering to keep the vehicle safely in its lane. Finally, once the car has stabilized, carefully start slowing down and begin to slowly pull over to the side of the road.
If you have any questions about your tire pressures or tire wear and tear, come into Honest-1 Auto Care and talk to either Tracy, Joe or Justin. We are happy to help! Drive carefully!