A high percentage of accidents on Britain’s motorways can be attributed to tyre failure. In the first two months of 2014 alone, 2.7% of road accidents that have occurred were caused as a result of a tyre blowout.
Some of these accidents could have been avoided if motorists were properly educated on how to handle their vehicle in the event of a tyre malfunction.
So, here are seven top tips to help you avoid tyre catastrophe.
1. The objective in the event of rapid tyre pressure loss or ‘blowout’ is to maintain control of the vehicle. DO NOT panic as any over reaction to the situation could result in catastrophic consequences. Avoid the urge to slam on your brakes or abruptly remove your foot from the accelerator, which can result in loss of vehicle control.
2. DO NOT step on the brake, although this may be your initial reaction, because it causes a greater imbalance to your vehicle.
3. DO NOT abruptly remove your foot from the accelerator as this causes your vehicle to transfer more of its weight from the rear wheels to the front wheels. With a flat tyre this can result in complete loss of control of your vehicle.
4. Instead gradually release the accelerator. Easing off the gas helps you to maintain control.
5. Correct your steering as appropriate in order to stabilise your vehicle and regain control. Identify a safe direction, which you can steer your vehicle towards, and head in that direction.
6. Upon stabilising your vehicle, it’s advised that you continue to slow down gradually, and at a safe and convenient interval, pull off the road completely.
7. Whether it’s a front or rear tyre that malfunctions remember the dos and don’ts for safely retaining control of your vehicle remain exactly the same. The only difference you will notice between the two is that you will feel the force of front tyre blowout more in the vehicle’s steering. With a rear wheel blowout the force will be felt more in the seating or body of the vehicle.
In order to safeguard your tyres and your safety on the road, it’s recommended that you check your tyres regularly. Ensure that they are inflated correctly and be vigilant of tyres that are worn and be sure to get them changed. In some instances tyre blowouts can be prevented before you even take to the road.