Having a tire blowout while you are driving can be very frightening, and not everyone knows what to do when something like this occurs. Understanding how to handle a blowout in the safest way possible can keep you from having an accident, which can help protect you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.
Nearly 200 people every year are killed from tire blowouts, and 11,000 are injured. The numbers used to be much higher before tire pressure monitoring systems were created and widely used, but there is still a risk of injury and death from tire blowouts.
How to Handle the Initial Tire Blowout
When a blowout occurs, you will generally hear a loud bang noise, and the car’s steering will be affected. A whoosh of air will leave the tire, and then you may hear the tire flapping or flopping against the road surface.
Whichever side the tire is on, the car will pull to that side strongly. When you aren’t expecting the sudden movement it can be startling, and it’s important that you keep a firm grip on the wheel to steer the car to safety. Don’t pull or jerk the wheel too hard, or you could end up overcorrecting and sending the car off the road or to the opposite side, which can be very dangerous.
What to Do When You Pull Over
Just like any car accident, you want to make sure you take the right steps to ensure your safety. As you pull over to the side of the road, don’t slam on your brakes. Let the car slow down gradually, and then turn on your emergency flashers when you stop.
You want to be as far off the road as reasonably possible for your own safety, and you also want to make sure that your lights are flashing so other drivers can be aware of your vehicle. This can reduce the chances of someone hitting you or your car.
Assessing the Damage
It’s important to assess the damage a blowout can cause. This damage may just be to the wheel itself, but the rim could also have damage. Even with a new tire, you don’t want to try to drive on a damaged rim, so having it checked is important.
You also want to look at the body of the car, because a blowout can sometimes send pieces of tire up into the air. When that happens those pieces can strike the side of your car and cause dents, scratches, glass breakage, and other types of damage. Take pictures of that damage if possible, as that can help your insurance company when you make a claim.
What Caused the Tire Blowout?
The causes of a tire blowout can vary, but age, dry rot, and driving your car when tire pressure is incorrect can be some of the biggest culprits. Another cause of tire blowout can be a defect or a problem with the tire itself.
If there is a manufacturing defect in the tire that has caused the blowout, that’s something you’ll definitely want to contact a lawyer about. It may mean that you can receive compensation for the damage that was done to your car.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you think that your tire blowout was the result of a defective tire, contact the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm, PC and let us help you with your case. We have offices in San Antonio and Temple where we talk with you about your accident case.
We can address the issue, determine whether there was fault on the part of the tire manufacturer, and work with you to get fair compensation for vehicle damage and any injuries you or others in your car may have sustained.