Blowing out a tire has been, by far, the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me in my many years of driving. I suppose I should feel lucky that it was a rear tire that blew out, rather than a front tire. I have heard that blowing out a front tire can really jerk the wheel and is much more dangerous. When the tire blew, it sounded exactly like a shotgun. And it scared the crap out of me. Unfortunately, when you blow a tire, you are usually on a freeway, driving at a high speed. And, from my experience, it’s just more unfortunate luck that it’s at night and you’re by yourself. And every serial killer comes out of the woodwork to help you change that tire. I called roadside assistance, locked all of my doors and rolled up my windows. But I left my driver side window rolled down just a smidgeon, so I could communicate with someone when they approached the car. But, not enough that they could reach inside my window and throttle me. A few good Samaritans did stop to rend assistance. And I felt like a jerk, talking to them through the slightly cracked window “Thanks for stopping to help, but I’ve already called roadside assistance.” What I really wanted to say is “Didn’t I see you on Craigslist?”
It only took roadside assistance 25 minutes to arrive. But, at night, in girl years, 25 minutes is an eternity. In Texas, there is an 800 number on the back of your driver license that you can call for roadside assistance and emergencies. And, the best thing is, it’s free. It’s offered to anyone who has blown out a tire or run out of gas on Texas highways. But you actually have to be on the highway to use it. You cannot be on a ramp or access road.
The other frightening thing about being broken down on the side of a freeway was that every time a large truck would pass by, my car would shimmy. And that was also a frightening feeling. I remembered hearing that, if you break down on either shoulder, you shouldn’t put your hazard lights on. But, rather, you should put your signal light on. As if you were going to re-enter the freeway. Passersby may see that you have your signal light on and will be concerned that you may be re-entering into their lane, and may move over into the next lane when passing. In using the signal, there were significantly less vehicles passing right next to me at a high speed. That was a great tip that I am so glad I remembered. And you can pass that tip on to people you know.
If you blow out a tire, and you make sudden corrections or jerk the wheel at a high speed, you could roll your car. So, it is highly recommended that you follow these steps, should it ever happen to you. Take your foot off the gas, so your car slows down on its own, naturally. Grip the wheel (especially a front rim could really jerk the wheel). Oh, and change your pants. Because blowing out a tire will most certainly scare the crap out of you. I would recommend you put a spare pair of pants in the trunk with your spare tire. You’re going to need them.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Blowing Out A Tire – Comedy Defensive Driving