Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: We have a new driver in the house. I was trying to explain to my child what to do if you have a tire blowout or experience steering failure. It might mean a bit more coming from a State Trooper. Could you please explain? Thank you for all you do.

  Answer: A “blowout” is a burst tire that can throw your vehicle out of control. Before a blowout occurs, you may hear a thumping sound or notice the steering wheel pulling to the right or left. If you experience a blowout, hold the steering wheel tightly, steer straight ahead, and slowly ease your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake until the vehicle is back under your control. Pull the vehicle completely off the road at the nearest safe location.

  When it comes to steering failure, if the front wheels of your vehicle do not respond when you turn the steering wheel, ease up on the accelerator. Do not brake unless it is necessary to avoid a crash. Your vehicle may balance on its own and travel in a straight path as you reduce speed. If you must apply the brake, do so gently. If you brake suddenly, or try to shift gears, the change in speed may throw the vehicle off balance and out of control.