One awful RV tire blowout disaster can ruin your entire day—or end your life. This motorhome driver was totally unprepared when tragedy struck:
Was there any way this driver could have avoided such a terrible RV tire blowout disaster?
Insight from tire experts like Michelin North America RV Tires would likely tell you “Definitely!” Losing control during a sudden loss of air, driving an overweight vehicle, expired tires, and being on the road with incorrect tire pressure are common causes for tire blowouts according to Michelin.
If an RV tire blowout happens to you, can you drive your RV to safety?
If you didn’t answer “B,” your odds of dying in an RV tire disaster are exponentially high. Although driving faster seems illogical when all you want to do is stop the vehicle, experts tell us it will save your life.
The Michelin Tire safety pros in the video below say that hitting the gas and accelerating quickly with confidence will help you maintain control of your RV during a high-speed blowout.
Why speed doesn’t kill in RV tire blowouts
If your front RV tire suddenly loses air, the front corner of your rig will fall. That droop creates a sideways force that wants to pull your RV off the road, as demonstrated in the above RV wreck video. If a vehicle is traveling slowly during a tire blowout, the sideways forces gain strength and pull even harder to one side.
Going faster is the only one way to overcome those sideways forces. Moving at a higher speed lets you add power to the drive wheels. This extra juice enables a driver to conquer the side forces and get to a safe place.
It’s the same principle if you’re driving during high crosswinds. To get through it, your goal is to accelerate, keep a good grip on the wheel and drive in a steady, straight line until you can safely pull over and stop.
When sideways forces pull the vehicle because of an RV tire blowout, resist the urge to hit the brakes. Gradually speed up enough to travel in a straight line, then head to the nearest safe spot.
Front or back, RV tire blowouts are handled the same way
Whether your front or rear RV tire goes, both scenarios are handled exactly the same. The only real difference is how they feel. When a rear tire goes flat while you’re driving you’ll barely feel it in your seat. It’s also far easier to stay in control with two good front steering tires. But if a front RV tire loses air, it’s far more difficult to commandeer an unstable steering wheel.
RV tire blowout disasters are justifiably frightening. But as long as you keep a cool head and don’t panic, you can survive any situation. Here’s what the Michelin experts recommend:
Learn more about driving on safe tires
To avoid putting yourself into an RV tire blowout disaster in the first place, take time to learn about RV tire safety in these RV Life articles:
- Checking Tire Pressure
- Prevent Blowouts By Monitoring Your RV Tires
- Five Easy Ways To Maintain Your RV Tires This Season
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.