They litter the highway like cattle skulls in an old western movie: the shredded remains of blown-out tires. Professional drivers check their tires routinely, and the rest of us should take precautions to avoid tire blow-outs.

What Causes Tire Blow-Outs?

Because we see so many tire carcasses in summer, you might assume that overfilling causes blowouts. It makes sense: air expands with heat, so extreme heat would seem to put a great deal of pressure on the tire from the inside, causing it to explode. However, quality tires are made to withstand fluctuations in air pressure. You definitely shouldn’t overinflate your tires, but underinflation causes more blowouts than overinflation.

Not having enough air in your tires causes uneven wear. Over time, this creates weak spots. It generates a lot of heat in the areas that experience a disproportionate amount of friction, which weakens the material. Also, when you drive on underinflated tires, you stretch the rubber to the point where it might detach from the inner layers.

Prevent Tire Blowouts in Arizona

Keep your tires at the recommended pressure, and have them checked during regular maintenance. You should get your tires rotated about every six months. Most people have no reason to buy premium tires with a higher heat rating if they’re just doing regular driving.

By checking the pressure frequently, you can identify damaged tires and repair or replace them before you have a problem. Do replace your tires when the treads wear down.

What to Do if your Tire Blows Out

While we’re on the subject, we may as well cover what to do should you ever find yourself in this scenario. Tire technology has come a long way, so it doesn’t happen often, but here’s what you do if your tire does blow out:

1. Keep your foot on the accelerator — don’t brake.

2. Gently steer the vehicle to correct course and regain control.

3. Slow down and pull over in a safe spot.

Remember, if you’re ever stranded on the side of the road in Arizona, our team offers 24/7 roadside assistance.