Why do tyres burst in the summer

Friday 3rd July 2020

how far can you drive on a flat tyre

What is a burst tyre?

A burst tyre or blowout is when a tyre rapidly loses pressurised air, which occurs when the structural integrity of the tyre is compromised. This then means the tyre is unable to preserve all the air inside - causing it to rupture or burst.

Experiencing a blowout can be a frightening experience, especially when you’re driving at high speeds surrounded by passing motorists. It can also be very dangerous if you don’t take the correct steps when your tyre does burst. But first, why does a vehicle's tyre burst in summer more often than other months?

Tyre burst causes

What causes burst tyres? Higher temperatures that occur during the summer months can put more pressure on the air on the inside of the tyres – causing them to heat up. This then leads to problems occurring. Main causes for tyre bursts in the summer include:

  • Tyre pressure – this is one of the most common causes of tyre bursts. Driving on an under-inflated tyre can cause the tyre to bounce up and down on the road – creating additional friction which, combined with the heat of summer, weakens the tyres and can lead to blowouts. Driving on over-inflated tyres causes tyres to expand more than necessary, and then burst due to the pressure of the heat of summer and hot road surface.
  • Faulty tyres – if your tyres are in poor condition, for example, you are experiencing uneven tyre wear, have cuts, cracks and damages, this can make tyres more likely to burst in the summer due to excess pressure.
  • Age of the tyres – how old your tyre is can affect whether it’s likely to burst during hot temperatures in the summer. Driving on old tyres can cause problems in itself – but during high summer temperatures, your old tyres may not be able to handle the pressure, especially if they have significant tyre wear. This then, in turn, means they are more likely to burst.
  • Vehicle weight – if you’re carrying a large amount of weight in your vehicle, whether this is from passengers, luggage or unnecessary items, this can put pressure on tyres on hot summer days. Reducing your vehicle weight can help minimise the risk of tyre bursts, but also helps increase your fuel efficiency, too.
  • High speed for long durations - driving for long distances at high speeds is another common cause of tyre blowouts, as this can cause heat to increase the pressure of the tyres. The weight of your vehicle and the heat coming off the road surface contributes to the pressure, making tyres more likely to burst.

What to do if your tyre bursts

Follow our simple 6-step guide on what to do if your tyre bursts:

  1. Keep calm – remember to take deep breaths, and maintain control of the vehicle, and try not to panic.
  2. Try to avoid braking – impulsively, you’re going to want to brake immediately – however, try to resist heavy braking as much as you can. Try to imagine you are driving on ice – simply steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go, rather than braking, as this can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
  3. Accelerate – although it may feel unnatural to not brake and use your accelerator instead, this adds momentum to the vehicle – enabling you to be able to steer in a straight line.
  4. Grip your wheel firmly – keep a tight grip on the steering wheel with both hands at all times, in order to maintain control.
  5. Drive to a safe spot – if your tyre bursts, you will not be able to drive on it for very long – so you’ll need to steer your vehicle to an area of safety as quickly as possible. If you pull over on the road side, remember to put your hazards lights on and place reflective safety triangles in front and behind your car, if you have them, as this will alert passing motorists you have broken down.
  6. Call for recovery or replace your tyres – depending on whether you have a spare tyre in your boot, and its safe to do so you can either change your tyre yourself, or call for roadside assistance.

In order to prepare yourself for any unprecedented tyre blowout, ensure you have a spare tyre in your boot. Browse our tyres to buy online today to purchase spare tyres, or replacement tyres for an existing tyre burst. Get in touch today for more information.

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