A blown tire, or even a flat tire, can be a scary ordeal that can make you lose control of your vehicle. There is a huge element of surprise followed by an oftentimes violent reaction in the steering wheel. As scary and shocking as it may be, it can happen easily. Many drivers who inspect their tires often, on nearly everything they see, still experience blowouts during their lifetime. Steer, drive axle or trailer tire failure are all serious events with the potential to cause a major crash. It doesn’t even have to be a large truck -tire failure in your car can also be disastrous!

Discussion Points:
• Lack of practice dealing with blowouts in real world conditions.
• Contact Patch (amount of rubber between the road and your vehicle) is small.
• Loss of vehicle control is highly likely to occur, especially with steer tire failure.
• Do not panic and slam on the brakes! Use the proper procedures to retain control of the
• Proper inspection and tire maintenance is the first step to minimize the risk of tire failure.

When experiencing tire failure oftentimes your first reaction is to slam on the brakes. Don’t do this, it will lead to a loss of control. Instead, grasp the steering wheel tightly with both hands and accelerate slightly to regain control. This will minimize the “dive” or “pull” from tire failure. Once you have regained control identify the nearest safe place to pull over, begin slowing down slowly and steer the vehicle towards the safe spot. Try to minimize brake use while slowing down if it is a steer tire that has failed. Hard braking can cause you to lose control. Your vehicle will be more difficult to control than normal due to the forces applied by the failed tire.

As always, be safe out there!