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When are Tire Blowouts Most Common?

December 07, 2022

Most drivers aren't aware that tire blowout season begins mid-May and can typically last through the beginning of October. As the season approaches, it's important that drivers are aware of the associated signs and know proper preparation tips to help them get through the season safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. reported at least 11,000 tire-related crashes yearly, with 664 reported fatalities in 2020.

What is a Tire Blowout?

A tire "blowout" is a term that drivers typically use when describing a burst in their tire accompanied by an excessive loss of air pressure. A common misconception is that blowouts happen because a tire is filled with too much air, but what most people don't know is that the opposite is actually the most common cause of a tire blowout. Low air pressure in a tire can cause it to flex beyond its elastic limits until it overheats and loses the bond yielding a weak spot in the rubber. To avoid underinflated tires, the NHTSA suggests the following:

  1. Check tires monthly as they will typically lose up to 1 psi (pounds per square inch) per month and drop in pressure about one psi for every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature.
  2. Buy a good tire gauge and a portable compressor that can work off of your car's power outlet in case you need to pump up a tire unexpectedly.
  3. Inflate tires to recommended setting displayed in the tire information place card

Why Do Tire Blowouts Occur?

There are many reasons why a tire could blow out, especially during blowout season. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Underinflation – Low air pressure in a tire is a major cause of blowouts. It causes wear on the sides, making them thinner than the tread that meets the road's surface. The low air pressure in a tire can also create weak spots in which the air can easily blow through.
  2. Road damage – Things like loose debris and potholes can damage a tire quickly. Tires that already have wear and tear are a lot more susceptible.
  3. Old or defective tires – Old tires are susceptible to blowouts just as much as defective tires. To be aware of the condition of your tires, it's important to get them checked every 6,000 miles.
  4. Too much weight – Vehicles have weight restrictions that must be followed to ensure tire safety. Overloading your vehicle can put excess pressure on your tires, causing them to blow out.

What Should I Do If I Experience a Tire Blowout?

  1. Stay calm – Panicking can only make matters worse. Take a deep breath and make sure to keep a level head.
  2. Don't brake – Stepping on the brake can cause your wheel to lock up and potentially result in total loss of control.
  3. Accelerate – Slightly accelerate while sterling as straight as possible
  4. Slow down – Slowly ease up your speed by gently removing your food from the accelerator.
  5. Emergency lights – Turn on your hazard light to alert other drivers on the road that you are experiencing difficulties.
  6. Pull over – When it's safe, steer towards the right lane and get off the road.
  7. Change the tire – If you know how to replace the damaged tire with a spare in your trunk. If not, call roadside assistance or a towing company for help.

Contact an Attorney

Dealing with the legal matters of tire blowouts can be stressful without prior experience or knowledge. Before filing a claim, it's always recommended to work with a skilled attorney who can better assist you in getting the justice you deserve. Here at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we have a team of committed lawyers who are dedicated to nothing less than a successful case. Let us be your voice.

Contact us today at (215) 486-0123 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.


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