October 2008 Safety Tip

Tire Blowouts

Don't Get Blown Away By A Tire Blowout

Most tire blowouts are caused by under inflated tires that become overheated and explode, so it is important that your tires are properly inflated. Running over something sharp on the road can also cause blowouts, but proper inflation can also prevent this from occurring. The correct tire inflation will provide better traction and braking, easier steering, better cornering, and longer, safer tire life as well. If a blowout occurs, the National Safety Council recommends that you take the following steps:
  • At the first sign of trouble, signal and work your vehicle off the road, or if possible, toward an exit. Do not slam on the brakes. Turn on your emergency flashers and let the vehicle slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.

  • Once you are in a safe area, use police flares, warning flags, or reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. If you know how to change the tire, and can do so safely, then do so (you should at least be familiar with where the necessary tools and the spare tire are located). If not, call for help or wait for a police officer or tow-truck operator.

  • Never stand behind or next to the traffic-side of your vehicle (sometimes the median is the safest place to pull over, thus making the right side of the car the traffic side exposure).