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How to handle a burst tyre at speed

How to handle a burst tyre at speed

Having your tyre burst when you’re driving is possibly one of the scariest things to experience when you are behind the wheel. Thankfully, with tyre technology continually improving, blowouts are becoming less frequent. They do, however, still happen sometimes and you need to know how to react in this situation if it does.

Key steps to remember:

  1. Maintain your vehicle speed and try to remain calm.
  2. Do not slam on the brake pedal! Understandably, this might be your immediate reaction, but this can cause further imbalance to your vehicle and throw it out of control.
  3. Firmly grasp the steering wheel (there will be a lot of vibration). If your car is pulling you to one side, you may need to steer in the opposite direction to keep it going straight.
  4. A sharp movement of the steering wheel could result in a rollover. Reduce your speed cautiously before finding a safe space to pull over and allow the vehicle to gradually coast to a stop.
  5. Remember to put your hazard lights on before exiting the vehicle.


Did you know that maintaining your vehicle’s tyres can help prevent accidents? Making sure you take good care of your tyres and checking them regularly will help reduce the chances of a blowout occurring.

Check the air pressure regularly:

  • We recommend checking your vehicles tyre pressure every couple of weeks – when the tyres are cold. ‘Cold’ means the vehicle has not been driven in the last 2 hours.
  • Under-inflated tyres will increase stopping distances and affect your vehicles handling, making collisions more likely.
  • Under-inflated tyres flex more and get hotter, making sudden tyre failure or blowouts more likely.

Every time you drive over a pothole or bump your tyre off a kerb, your tyres are absorbing road shocks. The air inside your tyres supports the weight of your vehicle and acts as a spring. You should never underestimate the importance of maintaining healthy tyre pressure.

Check the tyres’ tread depth:

  • The more tread your tyre has, the better hold your vehicle will have on the surface of the road.
  • You can easily check if your tyre has exceeded the minimum legal tread depth. Place a 20p coin in the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin becomes obscured when inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.