CDLLife reader Jennifer Black Cordero recently experienced a steer tire blowout. She reached out to us to share her experience and some tips for drivers that she hopes will benefit the trucking community and keep everyone safer on the road.
I was traveling east on I-80 in Wyoming, started my shift just 45 minutes prior to this video, ignore the timestamp. I left Rawlins and stopped at the first rest area to walk my dogs. I always look at my tires when I’m walking around my truck. Left there about 20 minutes later and had just set my cruise control for 74 mph and then my left steer tire explodes. Unfortunately, you cannot see the actual tire blow but you see the reaction of the truck.
I was able to successfully get the truck to the right shoulder. I was able to do so only because I knew what to do in this situation. It’s not something I had ever wanted to go through, but I expected that it could happen. I would just like to share a few simple tips that I gathered over the few short years I have been driving. Remind yourself to take a breath then remember the next few suggestions.
- Keep a cool head – Don’t panic. Panicking is part of what causes a driver to lay it down. A lot is going to be happening in the next few seconds and you have to be able to think fast and react.
- Make sure you get cruise control turned off – At this point you will want to control your speed. (side note, try not to run the truck at max speed when you set cruise control)
- Don’t hit the brakes – When you hit the brakes the truck naturally wants to pull to the side of the blown tire. The reason my truck went to the left in the video was because I hit the brakes for a moment.
- Step into the accelerator – By applying acceleration you cause the front of the truck to lift and pick up the rim with the blown tire to lift off the road. It allows you to steer using the good tire and be able to get the truck to the shoulder safely.
- Play What If? – One of the things I do when I’m driving is think about how I could react if a certain situation should occur. What if a tire blows? What If a deer runs out in front of me? What if a 4 wheeler cuts me off, spins out? What do I do if I lose traction on ice or start to hydroplane?
My truck looks like I ran into a bear or something large, but what is nice is that while I wait for the replacement parts to come in I haven’t lost revenue. I do hope my experience and thoughts will help enable someone to prevent a major accident.