Travel safe on your road trip – tips for handling a tyre blowout

Road Trip to a New Life by meddygarnet, on Flickr

Travelling overseas is something that many find to be inspirational. Even years after a journey has been made memories tend to linger. And the ones that are strongest in the memory are usually things that happen by accident or chance. As such, road trips tend to be the most fulfilling holidays. You have the freedom of the open road and can turn down into any side avenue that takes your fancy. There’s a lot to be said for train travel and jetting about, but you are always on a schedule in such circumstances – a road trip, for many, remains the best option.

What To Watch Out For

Of course, whether you choose to travel by car or something larger such as a motorhome, there is a negative side to a road trip. One of these is road safety. The rules of the road change in different countries. In some parts of the world the road surfaces are inferior to what you find at home, so you ought to be prepared to adjust your driving style accordingly. Some of the more common problems road trippers face are:

• Failing to comply with local traffic laws.
• Getting ripped off by car hire companies.
• Inadequate insurance for overseas travel.
• Mechanical breakdown.
• Tyre Blowouts

A bit of preparation and time spent researching can help you with making sure you don’t get swindled or have any embarrassing exchanges with the local traffic police. Make sure you are properly insured before you take your car anywhere abroad and always opt to upgrade your breakdown to cover foreign road use. Most insurers will have a package whereby you can add breakdown cover and overseas travel to your policy.

Nonetheless, the one problem that can happen at any time and for which it is difficult to prepare is a tyre blowout. Therefore, it is better to learn what to do before your set off. In fact, having your tyres checked before a long journey is always advisable. Go to a comparison site like Tyre Shopper to buy new ones, if yours are part worn down. Worn tyres are more susceptible to blowouts than new ones.

Tips For Blowouts

If you suffer a blown out tyre when travelling you tend to hear a loud bang it blows and then notice debris behind you as it starts to shred. If this happens, then try to remember the following:

• Don’t hit the brakes immediately since this can cause a loss of control.
• Don’t try to swerve onto the grass verge because turning the steering wheel at higher speeds can result in the vehicle spinning.
• Don’t panic. You have a few moments to deal with the problem.

So much for what not to do – here is what you ought to do:

• Put your foot down a little on the accelerator for a few seconds because this will allow you to regain full control of the car.
• Hit your hazard warning lights to advise other drivers of the problem.
• Slowly allow your foot to come off the accelerator pedal. The friction caused by your blown out tyre should slow you naturally.
• Stay in your lane and allow the car to coast without applying the brake.
• Only once your speed has dropped to about 25mph should you try pulling over to the side of the road or the hard shoulder.
• To pull over you may need to apply your brakes, but do so gently. Likewise, turn your steering wheel without much force, so that you remain in control.


Don’t let the thought of a blowout ruin your road trip. On the other hand, knowing what to do will help you to enjoy yours without worrying about it.



Photo credit: meddygarnet 

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