Surviving Summer: How to Avoid Dangerous Tire Blowouts

by AutoExpert   |  8 May, 2024

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You know how summer road trips sometimes feel like driving through a tire graveyard? Chunks of rubber everywhere! Turns out, there's a reason for all the carnage – it's officially "blowout season." Basically, summer is the worst time for neglected tires.

The Science-y Reason Behind the Blowouts

Imagine your tires like balloons. When they're underinflated, driving makes them flex way too much, which makes them HOT. Now add that sweltering summer sun, and boom – you got a recipe for disaster. The whole tire just starts breaking down from the inside. Scary stuff, right?

Tire Blowouts

The thing is, blowouts aren't just a pain in the butt. The NHTSA says tire problems cause thousands of crashes every year – some of 'em deadly. Not the kinda souvenir you want from your summer vacation...

How to Dodge the Tire Graveyard

Luckily, avoiding blowouts is actually pretty simple. Thanks to AAA, we've got the lowdown:

Tire Blowouts

  • Pump 'Em Up: Find that little sticker inside your driver's door – it tells you the perfect pressure for your tires. Get in the habit of checking those suckers with a tire gauge every month.
  • Be Prepared: Grab a decent tire gauge and maybe even one of those little portable air compressors. That way, you won't be stranded with a sad, flat tire.
  • Spot the Danger Signs: Bulges, cuts, weird wear patterns...give your tires a good look-over before hitting the road. Replace them if they look iffy.
  • Pro Tip: Check your tire pressure when the car is COLD (like, hasn't been driven for a few hours). Heat messes with the reading.

Tire Blowouts

Worst Case Scenario: What to Do If You HAVE a Blowout

Okay, let's hope this never happens, but sometimes it does. If you suddenly feel your car pulling or hear that awful exploding tire noise:

  • White-Knuckle That Wheel: Keep a firm grip and try to go straight. Don't freak out and slam on the brakes!
  • Slow 'n Steady: Let off the gas and SLOWLY ease your car to below 25 mph.
  • Get Off the Road: Find somewhere safe to pull over, as far from traffic as you can.
  • NOW You Freak Out: Once you're parked, activate those hazard lights and get yourself outta there! Call roadside assistance, and only then do you start shaking like a leaf.

Tire Blowouts

Penny Trick for Tire Nerds

One more thing: Worn-out tread is like begging for a blowout. Stick a penny upside down in your tire grooves. If you can see Lincoln's whole head, it's time to go tire shopping.

 

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