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What You Need to Know About Tire Blowouts

Vehicle's back right tire blowoutOn Sunday, April 24, three people were traveling westbound on Highway 31 when a tire blew out on their Ford Crown Victoria. The tire blowout caused the 22-year-old driver to lose control, rolling the car several times. The accident threw two teenage passengers, who weren’t wearing seat belts, out of the car.

Miraculously, all three passengers were sent to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas with non-life-threatening injuries. However, this is a good reminder of the reality of tire blowouts, one of the major causes of automobile accidents.

Here are 3 things you need to know about tire blowouts.

What is a Tire Blowout?

Remnants of tires seem to line highways throughout Texas. This debris is the result of tire blowouts.

When a tire is no longer able to support the weight of the vehicle, due to lost air pressure, the tire will burst, generally sending a vehicle out of control. The best way to reduce your risk of a blowout is to properly maintain your tires.

What Causes a Blowout?

Tire blowouts are the result of tires losing too much air pressure and not being able to support the weight of the vehicle.

  • Underinflation - If a tire isn’t properly inflated with enough air, the tire is forced to work harder than it’s designed to and will flex beyond its limits. The tire then becomes  extremely hot, which breaks down the materials inside the tire and causes it to explode.
  • Overloading the Vehicle - Every vehicle has tire pressure guidelines and the maximum load capacity of the vehicle listed in the owner’s manual; this information is also listed on the door jamb of vehicles manufactured since 2003. Make sure you maintain the proper tire pressure and never exceed the maximum loading capacity.
  • Damage or Punctures- Hitting a pothole, or other types of impact, could damage your tire and lead to an immediate or delayed blowout. A nail in your tire or other puncture can let air out slowly until the tire can no longer hold the weight of the vehicle, resulting in a blowout.


Worn tire tread with nail in it


Safety Tips for Handling a Tire Blowout

A tire blowout is generally obvious, beginning with a loud sound when the tire explodes.

The vehicle will begin to slow down immediately and, depending on which tire burst, the vehicle will forcibly pull to the right or to the left.

Your main goal in a blowout is to maintain or regain control of your vehicle.

While it may be difficult to remain calm in such a scary situation, do not step on the brakes. It’s best if you try to maintain your speed and even apply minor pressure to the accelerator. This will help your vehicle maintain its forward direction.

Steer in the opposite direction from which the vehicle is pulling, counteracting the force of the blowout and keeping your vehicle in its lane.

Once you have control of your vehicle, safely pull off to the side of the road and stay in your vehicle as you call for help. Do not try to remove the remnants of the tire from the middle of the road. If you feel the tire could cause an accident, call the police for help.

Man in car on phone


Tire blowouts are a possibility for every vehicle, especially in the hot summer months. However, knowing what to expect and the best ways to react can help you maintain control of your vehicle and reduce your risk of causing an accident.

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.