Imagine a professor saying, “A passing grade requires you to do nothing.” That’s exactly what I told the 1,500 or so drivers I taught to safely handle a tire blowout.
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Blowing a tire can be scary, and resisting the urge to do something can be hard, but practice makes perfect — so I put my students to the test. With a student behind the wheel and me sitting alongside, we simulated a tire blowout or tread separation.
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We did this demonstration in almost every type of vehicle, including SUVs, minivans and 18-wheelers, and no one ever lost control. So, here’s what to do if you have a tire blowout while driving (and earn yourself a passing grade).
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How to Safely Handle a Tire Blowout?
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If the driver drove straight down his lane and simply allowed the drag of the deflated tire to slow the vehicle to less than 30 mph, he earned a grade of a “B.” This is essentially “doing nothing,” and it’s a safe way to react when a tire blows out.
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To get an “A,” however, you must act counterintuitively and press the accelerator for a short instant after the blowout. Because of the drag of the failed tire, even a sports car in high gear will not gain speed. Pushing the accelerator does two things. First, it stabilizes the vehicle in your lane. Second, but just as important, it helps you focus your mind and helps prevent you from turning or braking while trying to remember what to do. By the time your brain accesses the answer, you will likely have slowed almost enough to safely ease off the road. (As opposed to racetracks, where blowouts happen frequently in turns, tires frequently blow on long trips, on straight stretches of highway.)
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Content via the @allstate blog

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