Even a new, properly inflated tire can blow out. Debris, potholes and other road hazards can contribute to tire failure, as can tire age, wear conditions and over or under-inflation.
How do you know when you have a tire blowout? Telltale signs include a rhythmic thumping sound, sometimes accompanied by a tugging sensation through the steering wheel. If you experience either symptom, remove your foot from the accelerator, indicate a lane change, and then, while maintaining a firm grip on the steering wheel and taking care not to brake abruptly, pull off the road to safety and turn on the emergency flashers. If possible, bring the car to rest on level ground, which will be helpful when the time comes to jack the car up and change the tire.
Some newer vehicles are equipped with “Run-Flat” tires that will allow you to travel with a flat tire for a short distance at lower speeds. This enables you to exit the roadway and seek assistance. Note that cars equipped with “Run-Flat” tires typically do not have a spare tire or wheel on board.
In fact, some newer cars – even those with conventional tires, are not equipped with spare tires, they only contain tire sealant and inflator devices for temporary repairs in such emergencies.