JIM LUFF DRIVING GEM OF THE WEEK: Experiencing a tire blowout can be a harrowing experience. Being ready for a blowout can mean the difference between life and death. Blowouts sometimes are preceded by loud noises from the tire as it begins to disintegrate and you have a little time to decelerate. Most often, blowouts occur on the freeway while traveling at high-speed. The most important rule to remember in a blowout is not to fight the wheel and not to slam on the brakes. Immediately take your foot off the accelerator and try to bring the vehicle to a stop as quickly as possible without slamming the brakes. Blowouts on the front tires are much more dangerous as you can lose control of the direction of your vehicle. If you have a blowout on the front right tire and you slam on the brakes, the steering wheel will violently turn to the right and the car will veer to the right. If you decelerate with a little brake application, you will be able to control the steering of the car. Rear blowouts can cause the vehicle to fishtail. Again, avoid slamming on the brakes. If the rear end begins to slide, always turn your steering wheel IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SLIDE while allowing the car to gradually come to a stop. — Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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