What to do when you have a tyre blowout

Brian Joss – A tyre blowout is something that many drivers may experience on the roads at some point in their lives.

The most common reasons for blowouts are as a result of hitting potholes, underinflated or worn tyres or, unfortunately, as a result of second-hand tyres that do not meet certain standards. Should you ever experience a blowout while driving, there are some tips you can follow to reduce the danger.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says drivers must remain calm and do not panic. “Hold the steering wheel firmly. Do not slam on the brakes but rather slow down gradually by slowly removing your foot from the accelerator. After this, follow these tips to safely navigate the danger,” advises Herbert.

Steer your vehicle towards the emergency lane and the side of the road.

Be extremely careful to not immediately swerve across lanes to reach the side of the road without checking that it is clear.

Do not stop in the middle of a road or on the highway, keep the vehicle in motion until you reach the side of the road.

You can continue driving on a flat if you drive slowly. Your personal safety is more important than any further damage that could be caused to the wheel.

Some vehicles have run-flat tyres which can be driven for up to 80km depending on the brand.

As soon as it is safe to take a hand off the steering wheel, switch on your emergency lights Brake gently once you are off the road and have slowed down considerably.

Once stationary, retrieve your triangle and place it approximately 45 metres behind your car.

 In South Africa, it can be difficult to decide what to do once you are stationary. If you know how to change a tyre and can do it without endangering yourself, it can be better to quickly do this than wait for assistance. Other times, the risk of another vehicle colliding with you or dangerous areas, can necessitate a call for assistance.

Again, the circumstances can dictate where to wait for assistance. Waiting away from the car will protect you from being hurt in secondary collisions but in a high crime area, inside the car is safer.

Ultimately, prioritise your tyre maintenance. “Consider investing in a more expensive and accurate tyre pressure gauge that you can use to regularly check your tyre pressure. Do not drive with worn, expired or damaged tyres and avoid purchasing second-hand tyres, even those that meet minimum requirements,” advises Herbert.

CAPTION:  Keep calm:  potholes or worn tyres are some of the causes.  Picture: Jan Kopriva/ Motorpress

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