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Tire Blowouts: Myths & Truths

RV blowoutWhen many people hear the word “travel,” they instantly picture crowded airports, delayed flights, and screaming toddlers kicking the backs of their seats while belting kids’ TV theme songs at the top of their lungs (“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!”) But if you’re like more than one million Americans, the word “travel” brings to mind the joy of traversing our fair country in a recreational vehicle. For these people, travel isn’t something you do on a long weekend; it’s a way of life. But that way of life comes its own set of challenges and concerns. One of the greatest fears of many an RVer is losing control of the vehicle due to a blowout. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how to deal with tire blowouts. Safe-T-Plus is here to talk about a few of these common myths and shed some light on the subject that will hopefully allow RVers to safely prepare for and deal with this dreaded occurrence, should it ever happen. Myth: If you have a blowout, there’s no way around it: you’re going to lose control of the vehicle. Truth: Having a blowout in your RV doesn’t mean that a loss of control is a foregone conclusion. Drivers who are properly prepared for the event can take steps to keep the vehicle under control. It’s very important for an RV driver to accept this. Those who think, “Well, there’s nothing I can do except hope it doesn’t happen to me,” won’t take the time to inform themselves of the proper steps to deal with a blowout, making their assertion a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those who know that it is possible to maintain control are much more likely to arm themselves with the information on how to do so. Myth: Dealing with a blowout in an RV is far more difficult than dealing with a blowout in an automobile. Truth: The techniques for dealing with a blowout are the same across the board, whether you’re driving a tiny hybrid or a big rig. The physical principles at play are universal, so if you can maintain control while having a blowout in your car, you can maintain control in an RV. It’s also true that when you install the Safe-T-Plus steering control device on your RV, it automatically stabilizes the vehicle, helping you safely maneuver through an dangerous driving situation, like a blowout, before you even have time to think about it. Myth: Immediately applying the brakes is the best way to handle a blowout. Truth: Step on the accelerator, and then make corrections with the steering wheel. It’s completely understandable how one could come to the conclusion that hitting the brakes is the right thing to do. After all, a blowout temporarily disables the vehicle. This means your RV is no longer operating as it’s intended to. Why would you accelerate when you have less control over how the RV responds? Read, understand, and believe this: hitting the brakes is the absolute worst thing you can do when attempting to recover from a blowout. When you have a blowout, the vehicle tends to veer to the side of the blowout. There is a new force–a side force–being applied to the RV, and this force must be corrected for. Stepping on the accelerator–yes, stepping on it; don’t gradually increase speed–is the best way to do this. Stepping on the accelerator applies more power to the functioning wheels and gives the driver time to use the steering wheel to compensate for the side force. This should bring the vehicle under control before there is any significant increase in speed. So remember: If you have a blowout, don’t hit the brakes. Don’t even take your foot off the accelerator. Instead, step on the accelerator and make corrections with the steering wheel. Once you have control of the RV, you can then pull over when it’s safe to stop. These strategies to deal with a blowout are true no matter the weather, no matter which tire has a blowout, and no matter if the vehicle is on a curve or not. For more information on how to deal with tire blowouts while traveling in an RV, check out this video from Michelin. We want to know: Have you ever had a blowout while driving in your RV? How did you respond? Leave your answers in the comments. For extra peace of mind and safety, install the Safe-T-Plus product that’s right for you.    Photo credit