Have you ever experienced a front tire blowout? This can be a harrowing experience as most of the time the tire pressure is expelled instantly causing the vehicle to pull to the side of the blowout. If you are in a defensive driving mode (full focus on driving, hands on steering wheel 10:00 and 2:00 driving positions, hands gripping the steering wheel) you are ready for anything and the steps are simple and intuitive for an experienced driver.
Let create a scenario: You are driving on the Taconic Parkway on your way home to Yorktown Heights, NY, you are in the middle lane, suddenly there is a pop and the vehicle dips in the right front and starts pulling to the right, what will you do?
A] Bounce off the car on your right to help straighten your vehicle and let the other vehicle fend for itself?
B] Slam the brakes and pray to your favorite deity and promise you will return to mass.
C] Accelerate like a wounded animal running from his predator.
D] Let go of the steering wheel and scream like a scared baby.
E] Read what to do when you get a blowout while driving, listed below.
1] Try to relax; don’t hit the brakes, and just try to steer slightly to keep vehicle in your lane.
2] You may have hit the brakes and vehicle may veer further to right and if ABS equipped (most likely vehicle) may now pull to left. Ease off brakes, no further sudden reactions.
2] While this is occurring you may need to accelerate slightly to regain control, then ease off and try coasting down in speed.
3] You need to know what is around you through your 3 mirrors. (Future blog). Put on your signal to pull off the road and slow down gradually till it is safe to stop and put on your 4 way flashers. Make sure the vehicle is completely off the highway lanes with your mirrors.
4] Do not get out of your vehicle till you know it is safe. Once it is safe set up flairs or reflective warning triangles. (Future Blog)
5] If you cannot safely or do not know how to change your tire, Call for road side assistance or 911 for help, hopefully you know what exits you are near.
6] If you are changing your tire, be very careful:
A] You should first put on work gloves
B] Tire will be very hot and will burn you
C] Steel cords may be sticking out of tire, which can cut you severely
D] Remember to crack your lug nuts loose before jacking vehicle and set emergency brake.
E] Once jacked up and lugs removed what do you do if wheel won’t come off vehicle? (Future blog)