Part of every great driver education program should be learning the skills needed to control a vehicle after a tire blowout.
This is a relatively rare occurrence and many drivers are, therefore, lulled into a false sense of security, believing that they will never encounter such a problem. However, the fact of the matter remains that there are many unknowns on the road and being prepared is the best possible defense.
It is important to understand that tires are made of rubber and rubber is not entirely invincible. It does succumb to wear and tear as other materials would. As the layers of the tire wear away, it is increasingly susceptible to potholes and roadside debris. This risk is made far worse when tire pressure is not monitored correctly.
Consider the many sources of road debris that exist. Metal and glass shards left behind after accidents are not always caught by cleaning crews. Just a tiny bit of such material can slash, gouge, or completely destroy a tire, especially if it becomes lodged in the more sensitive sidewall.
Trucks regularly drive the highways of this nation carrying garbage, construction scraps, and peoples’ belongings. Those items, if not tied down properly, can hit the road and splinter, creating even more risk of damaged tires.
The greatest risk, however, comes when drivers do not acknowledge the importance of tire pressure. Too little pressure means more stress on those weak sidewalls. Too much pressure means increased tension on unstable points of the rubber. When the pressure is not monitored correctly, tire blowout is far more likely. At high speeds, this type of malfunction can cause the car to jerk out of control.
A poorly prepared driver will make the situation worse. Thousands of people each year are injured due to tire blowouts. Maintaining the speed of the vehicle and making efforts to gently urge the vehicle toward the side of the road is the only way to safely escape a dangerous situation after tire blowout.
Better yet, you can help to prevent the event altogether by testing tire pressure and keeping it within the manufacturer’s recommended range.