Bill Van Tassel: Hi! I am Dr. Bill Van Tassel with AAA. And today we are discussing how to handle various driving emergencies. Now I am going to cover what you should do when you experience a tire blowout.
Tires are the most important parts on your vehicle. And modern tires provide high traction and great reliability. But tires can fail. It might fail because of a puncture or a slow leak or heat build up due to improper inflation. If you experience a blowout, remain calm and remember two key steps. First stabilize the vehicle, second pull off the road safely. For stabilizing the vehicle you want to stay calm and if a front tire blows out, you will feel a strong pull to one side. If a rear tire blows out you might feel the rear of the car sway back and forth. So maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and maintain a straight course. Ease up on accelerator but stay off the brakes. If you apply the brakes it may upset the vehicle's balance, making a risky situation even worse. Once a vehicle is coasted down to 20 to 25 miles an hour then you can gently apply the brakes if needed.
Second pulling off the road safely, your focus should be on finding a safe place to pull off the road. So check the traffic around you, find a safe gap, signal and steer off the road. Don't worry about the condition of your tire or if you have to drive on it for a short distance. Chances are it's not safe for your future use anyway. If possible when you stop, have at least 5 feet of clearance between you and the road way, set the parking brake and shift to park. Turn on your emergency flashers, and then get everyone out of the vehicle and into a safe position. Once you are safely off the road, call AAA for road side assistance. Never put yourself at risk when changing a tire. With blowouts, prevention is the key. The best blowout is one that never happens. That's why it's so important to check your tire pressure on a regular basis, at least once a month. So that's how you can handle a tire blowout. Up next, I am going to show you what to do if you run off the road or experience a pavement edge drop off.