According to the National Safety Council, the 5 most common reasons for a blown tire are under-inflation, overloading, damaged tires, uneven tread wear, and manufacturer’s defects.
While incidents of blowouts are falling due to Tire Pressure Monitoring systems, they still occur and are usually unexpected and very unnerving.
If it happens to you, begin to respond by removing your foot from the gas pedal. DO NOT HIT THE BRAKES. Instead, signal a lane change to the side of the road and smoothly steer toward it, allowing the car to coast to a stop.
Prevention is key. Make sure your tires are inflated properly, and check them at least once each month...more often in extreme weather. You’ve got to make it just as important as your oil level, and if it’s off by more than two pounds, adjust it. The correct pressure for your vehicle is in your owner’s manual, and might also by on a sticker on the door, on the trunk lid, or on the glove box lid. If one of your tires looks lower than another, it most likely is, and needs attention.
Tread wear is also easy to check. Your service technician knows an old trick that uses a penny, and can tell you if your tread is too worn.
By being proactive and checking your tires regularly, you can help prevent that unwanted blowout on your car!