What to do if you have a tyre blow-out

Getting a tyre blow-out while driving, particularly at high speed on a motorway, is most drivers’ worst fear. It requires quick and calm reaction but once you know what to do it should put your mind to rest that it is manageable and does not have to result in an accident. So what should you do if you have a tyre blow-out? Read on…

What is a tyre blow-out?

There is a difference between a puncture and a blow-out. The latter is due to a very sudden loss of pressure, destroying the tyre and making it difficult to steer. If the blow-out is particularly severe it could also damage the wheel or even the area around it.

Can it be avoided?

There are a couple of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a blow-out. You can reduce the chances of it happening by:

  • Keeping your tyres at the right pressure. Under-inflated tyres, often coupled with an overloaded vehicle, can lead to bouncing and in turn friction and damage.
  • Avoid potholes. Keep a close eye on the road ahead and steer clear if you can. Driving over a bad pothole at speed creates the ideal conditions for an immediate blow-out.
  • Avoid hitting a kerb. Similarly to potholes, the sudden impact of hitting a kerb at an awkward angle is a recipe for disaster.

What should you do?

If you do have a tyre blow-out, keep the following in mind and act fast.

  • Remain calm. Difficult to do, we know, but panicking and sudden movements will only make things worse.
  • Put your hazard lights on. That will immediately alert other drivers around you that there is a problem and they will try to get out of your way.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel. If it is a rear tyre, the vehicle is likely to start weaving, while a front tyre blow-out will pull the vehicle in the direction of the burst tyre. In both instances you want to keep a firm grip on the wheel and avoid making any sudden, jerky movements to try and set the car straight.
  • Avoid hitting the brakes. Again, this is a natural reaction but you must try and avoid using the brakes if possible. If you cannot, then apply pressure gently as any heavy braking will only exacerbate the pull from blown tyre.
  • Try to lose speed naturally. You can use your gears to help if you are not moving at high speed. Steer the car to the hard shoulder or any area where you can pull over and stop safely.
  • Exit the car from the passenger side if you are on the motorway and remember to move away from it to a safe spot, ideally on higher ground if you can.

While it is possible to drive short distances on a punctured tyre, it should be avoided on a blown-out one. Only drive on it until you can find a safe place to stop, as you could be damaging the wheel irreparably.

For repairs following a blow-out or for advice on how to stay calm and steer your way out of a difficult situation, talk to our team of experts at Double Dee Autos. Call us on 020 8460 3040 for a chat or to book your car in for repair.