In many dangerous driving situations, the source of the problem is often the tires. If you’ll soon be sending your child off to college with a car of their own, you should help them learn how to navigate tire-related emergencies like blowouts and flats!
A tire blowout is one of the most sudden and frightening things that can happen while driving. Sometimes, it can occur from a sudden tire puncture or if the tread has become so worn that it suddenly breaks apart on the road.
A blowout is startling, so stay calm and avoid immediately slamming on the brakes because you may lose control of your car. Hold the steering wheel steady and gently push the accelerator to keep it straight while the drag of the flat tire slows you down. Then, pull over and change the tire or call for assistance immediately.
Leaking or Flat Tire
Sometimes, a tire will slowly lose pressure over time, which can occur from a puncture. You may return to your parked car to find that one tire is completely flat and undrivable. What should you do?
If you know how to change a tire and have a spare, do that immediately. If you only have a repair kit and an air pump, you should patch the tire, inflate it to a safe PSI, and take your vehicle to a service shop for a replacement.
Flat Tire, But No Spare or Pump
What if you get a flat tire but don’t have a spare or a pump nearby to fill it? Thankfully, you’re not completely out of options, as there are ways to inflate a car tire without a pump. You should keep some basic repair items, like an aerosol patch can and air compressor, in your car for such emergencies.
Tire Death Wobble
Another frightening tire-related emergency your young driver may have to navigate is the tire death wobble. Its name is as scary as the sensation, which feels like the steering wheel has a mind of its own and goes out of control.
The tire death wobble can come out of nowhere, so stay calm and composed when it happens. Keep your hands on the steering wheel, gently pull over, and slow down to a stop—jerking the wheel will only make things worse. The tire death wobble is related to issues with the suspension or steering components, so it’s not a simple fix like a flat tire. You’ll likely need to call a tow truck and go to an auto shop for repairs.
All these tire-related emergencies can be dangerous, so the most important thing is to stay calm. When your car suddenly behaves strangely, keep your cool and remove yourself from danger.