Founded in 1902, AAA is a not-for-profit organization of clubs serving more than 51 million members in the United States and Canada. As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its members a full range of travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services through a network of 1,100 offices, as well as its full-service Web site: AAA.com. Since its founding, AAA has been an advocate for the motorist and traveler, continually lobbying for driver and passenger rights, fair laws and safer vehicles and roads. Through affiliations with motoring clubs around the world, AAA provides benefits to members traveling in 130 countries on six continents. Today, 25 percent of all U.S. households have a AAA membership. Nearly 27 percent of all North American passenger vehicles belong to AAA members.
Sudden Tire Blow-Out Safety
AAA expert Bill Van Tassel describes the steps to take should a driver encounter a tire blow-out while driving.
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Dr. Bill Van Tassel: Tires are the most important parts on your vehicle. The modern tires provide high traction and great reliability. The tires can fail; it might fail because of a puncture or a slow leak or heat buildup due to improper inflation.
If you experience a blowout, remain calm and remember two key-steps: 1. Stabilize the vehicle, 2. Pull off the road safely. First, stabilizing the vehicle, we want to stay calm and if our front blows out, you will feel a strong pull to one side. If a rear tire blows out, you might feel the rear of the car sway back and forth. So maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and maintain a straight course, Ease-up on accelerator that stay off the brakes. If you apply the brakes, it may upset the vehicle's balance making risky situation even worse. Once the vehicle is coasted down 20 to 25 miles an hour, then you can gently apply the brakes if needed. Second, your focus should be on finding a safe place to pull off the road. So check the traffic around you, find a safe gap, signal and steer off the road. Don't worry about the condition of your tire, or if you have to drive on it for a short distance. Chances are, it's not safe for future use anyway.
Set the parking brake and shift to park, turn on your emergency flashers and then get everyone out of the vehicle and into a safe position. Once you're safely off the road, call AAA for assistance. Never put yourself at risk when changing a tire. It is important to check your tire pressure on a regular basis at least once a month, so you can prevent any unnecessary tire blowouts, safe driving.