Tire Blowouts and Tire Seperation Emergency Driving Tipsby All Vovo on 09/27/13
I found a great list of emergency driving tips provided by edmunds.com (you can read the original article at: http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/how-to-survive-the-top-10-driving-emergencies.html ). It goes over some scenarios that you don't often get expert training on. Many drivers may know how to handle a slide in the snow and ice, but very few know what to do in Tire malfunction situations. Do you?
The contributor, Mac Demere, mentions that pilots and race car drivers MUST be trained in all emergency situations to be allowed to continue operating, but the drivers we share the road with get little to no such training. We may just go ahead and repost more of their instruction, but for now, I wanted to focus on your tires and what to do to get out of trouble in a surprise scare.
(Most of what is below is taken from the article referenced above. We thank them for their expertise.)
Emergency #1: Tire Blowout
To survive a tire blowout, pretend you're the bad guy in a police chase: Push the gas and drive straight ahead. The shotgun-blast noise of a tire blowout makes most law-abiding drivers do exactly the wrong thing: attempt to slow down quickly and get off the road. With a rear-tire failure, any turning at high speed will likely result in a crash.
I've taught hundreds of drivers how to correctly handle a tire blowout: I sat in the passenger seat and exploded a gaping hole in the tire with plastic explosive. Not one lost control. Here's how they did it.
If a tire blows:
- Squeeze the gas pedal for a couple of seconds. This puts you in control of the car and directs the car straight down the road. It also prevents you from committing the mortal sins of braking and turning. After a couple of seconds, gently and smoothly release the accelerator pedal. The drag force of a completely flat tire is so potent that pushing the gas will not allow the vehicle to go faster.
- Most importantly, drive straight down your lane. Keep your feet away from the brake (or clutch).
- Allow the car to coast down to as slow a speed as is safe (30 mph is good). Engage your turn signal and gently turn toward the shoulder of the road that's on the same side as the blown tire: This lessens your chance of losing control and will make the tire change safer. If the situation requires, you may ever so lightly squeeze the brakes.
Almost all highway blowouts and tread separations occur with the car traveling in a straight line on a very hot day at high speeds with an underinflated tire. The repeated flexing of an underinflated tire causes the failure. Check your tire pressures!
[This is great! We've mentioned the importance of proper tire pressures and checking them often many times. Now you see, it's more than etiquette, and even more than a gas mileage issue. It's a matter of safety for you and your passengers.]
Though the recovery techniques are nearly identical, a tread separation is more dangerous than a blowout. This is where the tread rubber and underlying steel belt partially or completely come off the tire. This creates a giant Weed Eater with a blade of steel-backed rubber spinning around at about 1,000 rpm. It'll scythe through the fuel tank, brake lines, inner fender panels, rear seats, side windows and, of course, flesh and bone.
An impending tread separation is usually announced by a consistent thumping noise, which will increase to a slapping sound, and then a metal-tearing jackhammer pounding. Sometimes this process takes days, other times only seconds. If you hear this, immediately slow down and take the tire to a professional for inspection. If you can see damage, put on the spare before proceeding.
If the tread begins to fly off:
- Squeeze the gas pedal for an instant and gently release it.
- Drive straight down your lane.
- Allow the car to coast down as much as is safely possible. You will likely have to apply the brakes lightly in order to reach a safe turning speed.
- Engage your turn signal and smoothly turn toward the shoulder of the road that's on the same side as the damaged tire.
Another reason why tread separations are more dangerous than blowouts: When the tread leaves the tire, the bad noise stops and some people think the car has magically cured itself. But instead of rolling along on grippy rubber, they're riding on fabric. Polyester will offer little grip when they take that next freeway off-ramp.
This guy really knows his stuff. Both corrections are pretty much the same, but once gain, they also point to the idea that you need to give attention and care to your tires. Our shop provides Volvo Repair Seattle WA recommends and trusts, but it's not just our repair work, it's that we are dedicated to keeping you on the road safely. This is why we check the tire pressure every time you bring your car to us, and we inflate your tires properly.