If your car doesn’t have an early detection system to alert you of low tire pressure, you can still detect a leaking tire if your car handling feels off or if you feel a drag when accelerating. If you can, get to an exit and pull off into a business parking lot to change your tire or call for help. If you’ve got several miles to the next exit, go ahead and find a safe space to pull over to prevent a blowout or serious damage to your car.
Don’t slam on the brakes. Don’t slam on the brakes. Don’t slam on the brakes.
When you hear the startling *pop* of a blown tire, your first instinct will be to stop all motion and hit the brakes, but doing so will put you and other drivers at an increased risk of collision by causing your car to spin out.
Instead, accelerate. Yes, hit the gas pedal like your life depends on it (it just might!) to keep your car moving forward in a straight line. The blown tire is going to slow your car down and prevent you from accelerating into the car in front you – just focus on maintaining control of your car and slowly pull over while letting it roll to a stop. Once stopped, call for assistance.
- Check yourself and passengers for injuries. If anyone is severely injured, call 911 and don’t move anyone from the car unless you suspect there’s risk of fire or are instructed to do so by EMS professionals.
- Make a note of your location, weather conditions, damage to your vehicle, and the contact information of any witnesses and other drivers involved. Don’t forget to swap insurance information if another driver was involved in the accident.
- Don’t leave the scene without reporting the incident to the police and requesting a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.
- Call a towing service.
- Arrange a ride home.
- File an insurance claim using the information recorded at the scene.
Going off road (unintentionally)
Texting, drowsiness, messing with the radio, fussing at kids, avoiding an obstacle in your path, no matter what causes you to go off of the pavement, again, resist the urge to hit the brakes and overcorrect your steering.
Being on uneven pavement and abruptly stopping the momentum could cause you spin out or even roll over. Let off of the accelerator and allow the car to slow on its own as you gradually move back onto the pavement.