Many drivers in the UAE have had their tyres burst especially during the hot summers. Unfortunately, some have not lived to tell the tale and it is estimated that 5% of road fatalities in the UAE are caused by burst tyres.These accidents are largely preventable and wecashanycar has identified the main causes of tyre bursts and how to avoid them.
Studies show that tyre pressure is the leading cause of tyre bursts. Under-inflated tyres tend to bulge because they are unable to hold the weight of the car. When you drive at a high speed with an under inflated tyre, it will bounce up and down, causing excess friction. Should this happen during the summer, the friction combined with the heat weaken the tyres causing them to burst.
If you suspect that your tyres are under inflated you should reduce your speed to avoid an accident. Over-inflation is also dangerous for your tyres as it can cause them to expand too much and burst. During summer, you should check your tyre pressure on a weekly basis to ensure that they are properly inflated using your manufacturer’s recommendations. Having the right pressure will help you reduce the load off your tyres and avoid any accidents. You can also opt to use nitrogen instead of air to maintain better pressure in your tyres. It is also a great way to increase your fuel efficiency.
The weight of the vehicle tends to put a lot of pressure on the tyres and with time they wear off. When your tyres are worn off, they will not be able to handle the pressure and are likely to burst during the scorching summer heat. Ideally your tyres should serve you between three and four years or after the depth of tread is less than 1’6mm. You can check the tread depth of your tyres by placing a coin in between the tyre ribs and replace any tyres that do not hold the coin in place.
Driving at a high speed for long journeys
When you drive for a long time at a high speed, your tyres get over-pressured from the load of your car and the heat coming off the road. The heat, in particular, expands the pressure of the tyres, making them susceptible to a blow out. You can avoid this by stopping and taking short breaks during long road trips. This will not only give you time to rest but also ease off the pressure on your tyres and allow them to cool down.
Carrying too much load on your vehicle
No matter how big your trunk is, your car has a maximum load capacity. Overloading your car therefore places too much pressure on your tyres, putting them at a risk of blowing out. In addition, overloading is a traffic offence in the UAE that punishable by up to Dh. 2000 in fines and six black points. You can avoid this by checking the recommended load for your car and cleaning your car frequently to avoid carrying around unnecessary clutter.
Using faulty tyres
Tyres with bulges, cracks, cuts or damages are more likely to burst from summer heat and excess pressure. The following are some of the causes of faulty tyres:-
- Hitting potholes
- Driving on curbs
- Driving over road dividers
- Manufacture defects
- Using faulty tyres
Even though we often ignore some of these faults, they are dangerous and can burst and cause serious accidents. You should therefore replace any tyres that have damages and conduct a routine inspection of your tyres every week to make sure that your tyres are safe. It is also necessary to slow down when driving on rough terrain to prevent any damage on your car.
So many drivers in the UAE are guilty of pulling dangerous stunts which endangers them and other motorists on the road. These stunts are not only illegal in the UAE , but some involve driving over obstacles at high speeds causing instant tyre bursts and accidents. In addition to these stunts, driving at a high speed over a pothole or a kerb can also cause your tyres to blow out.
What to do if your tyre blows out while you are driving
If you were unable to prevent the tyre burst and you find yourself driving with a burst tyre, you should do the following:
As impossible as it sounds, you should stay as calm as possible if you find yourself driving with a burst tyre. This will help you think on your feet and make the right decision hence avoiding a horrible accident.
Avoid heavy braking
Even though braking might be your instinctive reaction to a burst tyre, it can exaggerate the movement of your car and catapult it into the wrong direction, causing a horrible accident. It is better to avoid braking altogether, especially if any of your front tyres have blown out. However, if a rear tyre has burst you can apply gentle braking to shift the weight of the car to the front wheels.
Grip your wheel firmly
When your tyre blows out, your car will pull towards the direction of the damaged tyre. You should therefore hold firmly to your steering wheel and use both your hands to steer the vehicle in the right direction.
Use your accelerator
The moment your tyre blows out, your car can potentially lose control. Instead of engaging your brakes, it is advisable to step on your gas pedal so as to add momentum to your car as you steer it on a straight line. You can gently step off the accelerator once you are sure that the car is steady enough.
You cannot drive with a blown tyre for long and you will need to pull over to the roadside when you feel it is safe to do so. It is necessary to start looking for a parking spot immediately you notice that your tyre has burst. Once you do this, you must put your hazard lights on and place reflective safety triangles in front and behind your car to alert other motorists that you have stopped your car due to a breakdown. You should avoid stopping in the middle of the road as this endangers other motorists.
Change your tyre or call a recovery truck
If you have a spare tyre, you can easily replace the burst tyre and continue with your journey. However, if you cannot change your tyre, you should call a recovery truck to tow your car to the mechanic’s.
Ultimately driving safely and maintaining your tyres in good condition is all you need to avoid tyre blow outs and increase your fuel efficiency. You should ensure that you rotate your tyres after 8,000km and replace them after 50000km of service. You can also check out the wecashanycar blog for driving tips and car maintenance articles that can help you save some money and stay safe on the road.