Tire blowout: causes, prevention and safety

A sudden, loud boom of a tire blowout can be a heart-stopping moment on the road. Tire blowouts can cause serious risks, especially when driving at highway speeds. Therefore, you should know what to do if you experience a tire blowout and how to prevent it.

What causes a tire blowout?

A tire blowout refers to a sudden, rapid drop in tire pressure, which can lead to losing the vehicle’s control in seconds. The tread, or a part of it, comes off the wheel in a tire blowout. Tire blowouts happen for various reasons. Here are some common causes:

  • A puncture or a cut in a tire. Driving over a sharp object can cause air to escape rapidly from the tire.
  • Under-inflated tires. The tires can overheat due to Insufficient air pressure. This can lead the rubber to detach from the internal fabric and the steel cord reinforcement.
  • Overloaded tires. Carrying too much weight can overheat the tire and make it explode.
  • Worn tires. Worn-out tires generate heat more rapidly and are more vulnerable to punctures, cuts, and other damage.

What should you do if you have a tire blowout?

If you experience a tire blowout, the most important thing is to stay calm. You should not slam on the brakes but gradually slow down the speed. Steer firmly to regain control of your vehicle. You should not drive with a flat tire more than strictly necessary. Once you have managed to slow down, pull over to a safe spot and call for roadside assistance.

Some of Nokian Tyres’ products have a special Flat Run Technology (FRT) construction. It allows you to drive approximately 30–90 miles (50–150 kilometers) with a flat tire, depending on how loaded your vehicle is.

Flat Run Tire Technology

How to prevent a tire blowout?

As tire blowouts can be a critical safety hazard on the road, you should ensure proper tire maintenance. Here are some tips on how to prevent a tire blowout:

  • Maintain recommended tire pressure and adjust if necessary.
  • Regularly check your tires’ condition. Measure the tread depth and look for uneven wear patterns.
  • Do not exceed the recommended load levels or speeds.
  • Pay attention to the driving environment to avoid punctures and cuts.

Even with preventive measures, unexpected situations can happen on the road. That is why keeping a safe following distance is important. Consider the weather conditions and their impact on braking distance.

Maintain proper tire pressure to help avoid blowouts

Replacing a blown tire

Having a good set of tires is essential for road safety. Good tires prevent tire blowouts, enhance traction, reduce the risk of hydroplaning, and make driving safer on icy and snowy roads. Read more tips for safe driving in winter conditions.

In case of a blown tire or sidewall damage, it is not possible to repair the tire. When you have to replace a damaged tire with a spare tire, remember that the spare tire is designed only for temporary use. For new high-quality tires, contact your local Nokian Tyres dealer.


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