How would you respond as a driver to a tire blowout?

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How would you react if you were driving on the highway and suddenly one of the tires of your RV, truck or automobile suddenly lost all its air pressure — a “blowout,” some would call it? For many of us, it will happen one day, if not already. Not a week passes that you do not read of cars or RVs crashing because the driver reacted incorrectly. Lives are often lost, all because the driver made the wrong decision.

So what would you do? You’ll find three choices below. After you respond, the correct answer will appear. And, we strongly advise you take a few minutes to watch the video below, which shows you exactly how to react, and what happens if you make the wrong decision.

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Donn
4 months ago

Most likely, I’d immediately change my underwear.

Nancy Hillstromb
6 months ago

I have watched this video twice a year since about 2012-13. I had my first “rapid loss of air” event in 2017 while driving on in a construction zone. The very first thing I thought was I need to accelerate a bit and pull off the road. That video certainly had me prepared for success. I always recommend that my RVing Sistahs watch that twice a year, that helps to reinforce and makes it a natural thing!

RW Baker
11 months ago

Too many variables, which tire, to begin with…

Billy Bob Thorton
11 months ago

It’s a silly question as there is NO good answer in the selections offered. Driving skill at that level is determined by how an individual would react, based on their competence. That quantity is not measurable in this argument. Why you ask, it’s elementary, you have no prior expierence in that scenario. You can tell people all you want, but the real solution is, don’t hit the brakes. Why because you have much reduced stopping power because of lack of tire integrity with the road. It’s simple physics, but most people do not think in those terms. So, you will end up with a certain amount of crashes, because of the geometry of the vehicle.

The last fiasco involving faulty Firestone tires, and an incompetent driver killing multiple people, causing more regulations and TPMS was OVER FAULTY TIRES. Now it costs the driving public millions of dollars a year for TPMS sensors, that last on average 5+ years. I dont want to here about how safe they make it. What i want is for people issued a licence to be responsible for the safty issues that come with the privilege. Oh, and that cant happen either in our not my fault society.

They won’t manufacture a sensor that uses the tire inertia to last almost indefinitely like a self winding watch, because there is too much money in making the throw aways. It’s a shame how government tries to legislate stupidly away. Note to reader, that can NEVER be accomplished, we will run out of money first.

Irv
11 months ago

The poll question didn’t specify a motorhome vs a trailer. And the video didn’t address that either.

What’s the advice with a sway control hitch such as an Equalizer?

John Armstrong
11 months ago

I just watched the video about tire blowouts and I have a question on what to do about a blowout when using cruise control. What is the best way to control the Motorhome in this situation. I use the cruise control on distances as my foot goes to sleep.

Gary L Bloomfield
11 months ago

We have always taken “professional” advice with a grain of salt. We were doing 60 – 62 mph on RT. 95 northbound in North Carolina just south of the Virginia line. 10 pm or so Sunday night. Felt a sudden rumble for a couple of seconds then BOOM the rear passenger corner of my 2003 Dutchman 27′ class C dropped to the ground. Let off the gas slowly and watched both of my tires on that side roll past me. Motorhome never swerved at all. Steered straight until it slowed down enough to pull off the road.
Not sure what the “professional” advice would have done for me but I’m hoping any skills I’ve learned in 49 years of driving will help me make a proper decision to react in any situation.

Tommy Molnar
11 months ago

Back when I was still “professionally” driving I remember a safety man telling all of us in a safety meeting that no matter what – “NEVER STOP DRIVING THAT TRUCK UNTIL IT WAS COMPLETELY STOPPED”. Meaning, you do whatever you have to to maintain control, or at least try . . .

www.livingboondockingmexico.blogspot.com
1 year ago

It’s hard to break a natural response to any accident. Nature tells us to stop, and quick. It is very hard to retrain the human brain.

Denny wagaman
1 year ago

Insane? Well the tests show that (see videos) that hitting the accelerator before the brakes will save one from going off the road. But I understand that some don’t want to learn.
That’s one reason that RVers should be required to have a CDL as many shouldn’t be driving an RV. To each his own. But hitting the brake could, probably would take you into another lane or off the road and I hope you and others are not hurt in any way. This is for a motor home but I bet it applies to other vehicles too.

Alvin
1 year ago

I honestly don’t know how anyone with any knowledge of the tire blowing scenario, indicate there’s a one size fits all solution when a tire blows on a vehicle. Weather conditions, road conditions, type of vehicle, size of vehicle, inside/outside dual??????, and many more factors enter this discussion. Speeding up in 99% of the situations I could imagine would be insane. If there’s a generality, it would be to slow down, (you should only be driving 60 anyway and nobody does) and get the hell out of everyone else’s way as best as the situation allows.

Gene Cheatham
1 year ago
Reply to  Alvin

The physics of the situation are the same. I’d trust their testing.

Walter Cooke
1 year ago

This is a good reason for a driver to consider whether or not to use Cruise Control. I shutter to think about the future when self-driving RV’s hit the road.

Walter Cooke
1 year ago

A reason to question oneself about using Cruise Control or when available, a self-driving RV.

Thomas Becher
1 year ago

Which tire blew. Makes a difference. I blew 3in one day on my trailer. I was driving around 60 mph when they blew. I but on brakes fast. Never felt like I was losing control and stopped quickly. Probably a whole different situation had it been a truck tire and especially a front one

Cliff
1 year ago

Your answer to Accelerate is WRONG. It is based on the thought that the thrust vector and the veer vectors occur at the same TIME and therefore present a combined vector of LESS “pull” towards the blown tire. It does NOT happen this way.
This is a MISTAKEN furtherance of Physics by an inadequate analysis.
The two force vectors do NOT occur at the same time; clearly one would have to apply the Accelerator at the EXACT same time as the blow out to get the desired force combination.
AND that will not occur unless one HAPPENS to be accelerating at the same instance as the blowout.
Applying Acceleration afterwards is Wrong.
Answer number 2 is more correct.
Specifically, maintain steering directional control, brake modestly, and as slowing is adequate, steer to the shoulder of the road OR, if no shoulder, maintain slowed speed to nearest safe pull-off.
YES, the tire/rim might be ruined, but your life isn’t.

Irv
1 year ago
Reply to  Cliff

I agree. Plus, how is speeding up before slowing down better than just slowing down.

Randall Burdette
1 year ago
Reply to  Cliff

So your position is that Nevada Automotive Test Center and Michelin are wrong on the procedure to handle a rapid loss of air on a tire. I hope your advice doesn’t contribute to anyone getting hurt because they believed you instead of the Nevada Automotive Test Center and Michelin.

Don
1 year ago
Reply to  Cliff

So Michelin and the Nevada Automotive Test Center are wrong, where is your published data and/or white paper to support YOUR opinion?

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Cliff

For a front/steering tire, you DO accelerate slightly (really, more like don’t decelerate). You want to offweight the flat tire, reducing its increased drag while maintaining control from the initial “lurch ” Don’t add speed and don’t drive far – its a new problem if you actually lose the rubber.

Once in control, slowly “roll out” only applying minimal brakes. Rim will likely be ruined… so what?

KellyR
1 year ago
Reply to  Wolfe

From experience, I agree with Wolfe. Right rear on a loaded 15 passenger van exploded at interstate speed. Initially did not know where the sound came from. First, death grip on steering wheel and foot off the gas to give the brain the milliseconds it needed to realize what took place. Second, slowed to a stop and to the side of the road to a level place. 14 people thanked me for being the one driving that day. No cell phone, text, looking at GPS, tuning radio, etc. When you are behind the wheel you are to be DRIVING. Second time, a famous Firestone decided to “un-tread” at highway speeds. Same scenario. Different van with my family inside.

Jason Carr
11 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

> more like don’t decelerate)

Yeah, I think they are trying to keep Joe sixpack from freaking out and suddenly lifting when a front tire blows I’d be surprised if an RV had enough grunt to meaningfully unload the fronts while driving along. If an open road, starting to pull over to the flat-side shoulder would likely do more to unload the flat tire. If quicker deceleration is required, *practiced* application of e-brakes will slow the vehicle with much less forward transfer.

For onlookers, as far as the video’s claimed applicability to “all vehicles” and “same for front and back tires”: consider what adding power to a front flat on a front wheel drive car (or rear flat on a motorcycle) would do.

Folks who want to practice ahead of time could wait until they are about to replace front tires. Air one down substantially and pilot around a big area. Brake, turn, etc, and see how the roadbeast (and driver!) actually react.

BTW, if the survey wanted to get real input instead of tricking people question #2 would
have been phrased differently

Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Cliff

1, The physics is a way to explain what has been found to work. He’s not saying do this because the physics say so, it’s here’s what works, and this may be why it works.
2, Any heavy vehicle like a motorhome is underpowered relative to a car, so stomping on the accelerator for an instant won’t make much difference in speed, but it will help maintain directional control AFTER the tire force goes sideways but BEFORE the vehicle starts to move sideways. In a muscle car or car with more power, particularly front wheel drive, stomping on the accelerator is likely to induce yaw or spin even without a low tire.
3. Answer number 2 is better than answer number 1, but the bottom line is maintain control. The most important thing is to keep it from flipping or leaving the roadway.

Donald S Travis
11 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, I agree with what you said, but the video shows numerous times flooring the accelerator all the way which strongly suggests speeding up not just compensating for added drag until steering control is maintained.

Donald S Travis
11 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, I would guess many motorhome drivers might have the same reaction, and perhaps the video is aimed primarily for those rigs. With my 3500 diesel and 13k pound 5th wheel, if I floored it then it would downshift and start accelerating quite fast. But I definitely get the gist of this safety manuver.

Rich Howard
3 months ago
Reply to  Cliff

Sorry, over 15 years I have used the acceleration theory three times on front tire blowouts on my 40 foot motorcoach going over 60 mph. It works especially well when there is no shoulder to pull off on to. I have had some damage to the outside of wheel wells, but that was it. Did not even damage any of the aluminum wheels. Just accelerate, get control, then slow down and pull off. We were very lucky each time.

Louie
4 days ago
Reply to  Cliff

Good thing about it is you get to do what you want to do. As a professional driver, I’m maintaining my speed with my gas pedal and slowly control my stopping. You “brake modestly”, veer and roll !

Wolfe
1 year ago

Lucky me! I got my third flat in 2 years yesterday. This time, something in a repaving zone put a “60 second” hole in a tire… fun watching the TPMS rolling downward while praying you’ll make it out of the “cattle shoot” before completely blocking the highway. At 20psi, I dove through cones into part of their equipment parking. Wheee!

Blowout, thrown tread, “slow” leak… any other tire failures left? 🙁

Hoss Smith
1 year ago

When I learned to fly I was taught, repeatedly, that no matter what happened or what I thought happened or what I thought might happen to “fly the airplane, no matter what.” Ever since I have applied that training to every situation that has appeared when I was in motion and sometimes even when I am not. I’ve blown tires from every position available on a truck, trailer (including RV’s) and have never (ever) lost control or added to the collateral damage maintaining control while I was getting stopped in a relatively safe place (the side of the highway is way less than a safe place). In simple terms do not overreact to anything that happens when moving. Stomping a brake peddle, giving the throttle a good smashing or jerking the steering wheel are almost always actions that will include additional damage related to loss of control. Giving up control can get you killed.

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Hoss Smith

Absolutely. When in doubt what’s right, do LESS wrong.

Wayne Caldwell
1 year ago

When stationed in Naples, Italy from ’88 – ’92, we were going through Naples in our Ford pickup. For whatever reason, I stopped at an Autostrada (freeway) gas station to check the tire air pressure. We got back onto the freeway and sped up to about 80 mph and I felt a shake in the steering wheel. My first thought was that I had thrown a wheel weight so I slowed down to about 75 and the truck smoothed out for a few seconds but then started the shake again. I again slowed to about 70, the truck smoothed for a few seconds and started shaking again. I knew something wasn’t right so I let off the gas and death-gripped the steering wheel (we were in the left pane passing a car going uphill) when at about 65 mph, the right-front tire blew out. My initial instinct was to hit the brakes but drivers ed from the ’60s immediately reminded me ‘Don’t Touch the Brakes!!’ I glanced at my wife and could see the fear of impending doom then relief when she saw the truck continuing straight and under control. The driver of the car we had been passing slowed down to see this American truck with a blown-out tire. Although he couldn’t hear me, I suggested, both verbally and with the horn, that he get out of the way as I needed to move.to the shoulder. We got stopped and less than 10 minutes later were back in the road with our spare tire replacing the destroyed one. Although I didn’t speed up, I remembered from 25 years previously, ‘Don’t Touch the Brakes!’.
Remember, Don’t Touch the Brakes!!