The terrifying consequences of a tyre blow out have been highlighted after a pregnant woman revealed how she thought she was going to die when one of her tyres gave way sending her spinning into a central reservation.
Miraculously, Janine McCarthy survived the frightening ordeal and her unborn baby was unharmed, despite the fact that her car flipped over six times as it plummeted down a hill and smashed into barriers.
Ms McCarthy said: “I remember the back of my wheels skidding so I applied the brake gently, and as I did this, the car skidded right around.
“As that happened, I could see oncoming traffic so in a panic I broke hard, and it caused the vehicle to tip and start to roll and smash into the metal fencing.
“I originally thought I had rolled six times down the hill, but it’s much worse as witnesses and police have told me I smashed into the barriers, flew to the opposite barriers, and then rolled down into the middle bit of a field.”
Ensuring car tyres are always properly inflated greatly reduces the changes of suffering a tyre blow out, however, in the event of a tyre blow out, the best course of action is to hold the steering wheel firmly and let the car slow down by itself. Sudden braking is the single worst thing that you can do if a tyre blows out, if the vehicle is starting to move sideways braking will make matters worse causing the car to spin.
Instead, keep looking ahead and turn your steering wheel to keep in a straight line. Maintain momentum by accelerating and then ease off to slow down – accelerating is not done to speed the car up, simply to maintain momentum and minimising the risk of and effect of a side slide. Changing to a lower gear might help in a front wheel drive car if you can control the steering with one hand.
Denna Bowman, Head Office