7 SIMPLE STEPS TO STAYING ALIVE AND AVERTING AN ACCIDENT IN CASE OF A TYRE BLOWOUT.
On the 6th of March, the Nigerian people were slapped in the face with the abrupt, tragic, yet totally avoidable demise of a top ranking government official.
After the unfortunate death of Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi (SAN), due to an accident occasioned by a tyre blowout it has become imperative to share the following simple steps for survival in the event of a tyre blowout.
* Note that all these should be done within a maximum of 2 minutes after the blow-out
(1) DON’T PANIC:- If you have passengers in the vehicle it is likely that everyone in the car will be in panic mode. You will need to shut out all the people screaming around you and concentrate.
Your car will develop a mind of its own if a blow-out occurs at top speed, so you must calm yourself down and be in control if you want to take charge.
If you and your car start misbehaving at the same time either of you will eventually take charge, and the chances of it being you are unlikely.
(2) HOLD FIRMLY TO YOUR STEERING WHEEL:- Hold your steering with both hands. DO NOT TURN VIGOROUSLY. Avoid turning at all if possible and concentrate on the road as well as both your rear view and side mirrors as you simultaneously study and take advantage of the movement pattern of the car. Your car will naturally swerve in the direction of the burst tyre.
(3) REMOVE YOUR FOOT FROM THE PEDALS:- Take your foot off the gas/accelerator pedal immediately, and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TOUCH THE BRAKES.
If you hit the brakes there is a 95% chance that the vehicle will somersault.
If you hold the steering firmly and avoid touching the pedals the car will decelerate gradually. As it does so you must concentrate on the road in order to avoid collision with other road users.
(4) DISENGAGE THE GEARS: You do this by shifting your gears to neutral
(5) GRADUALLY APPLY THE BRAKES ONCE THE CAR HITS THE APPROPRIATE SPEED:- After a while, depending on your initial speed, the vehicle will come to a speed of less than 60km/h. At this point it will become safe to gently apply the brakes and navigate to the side walk.
(6) STOP AND KILL THE ENGINE:- It would be safe at this point to put the car to a complete stop and turn off the engine. You would have just saved yourself and your passengers from certain death.
(7) RUN FLAT TYRES:- The above six points are stated in the event of an immediate blow-out when you are not using the appropriate tyres.
However, before you embark on long-distance, high-speed journeys do what you can to buy run-flat tyres.
If you understand the specifics you will be able to tell your tyre vendor what you ought to buy.
There are essentially five tire codes designed for top speed; these codes are H, V, Z, W, and Y with speeds of between 210 km (130mi) and 300km (186 mi) an hour
If you pick up high speeds with tyres that have E, F, G, J or K codes written on them you might end up on a lamp-post or street-light somewhere.
The appropriate speeds between E and K are 70 km (43 mi) – 110km (68 mi).
Codes L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U are designed for speeds between 120km (75mi) and 200km (124mi).
If you pick the appropriate tyre before a journey it will affect the smoothness of your journey.
A friend of mine was driving his BMW at a speed of 180km/h when his front tyre blew out. His tyres were all run-flat and there was little or no effect after the blow-out. It was actually only after he stopped the vehicle that he told the occupants that his tyre was out. This kind of tyres was specifically designed with safety in mind.
Ultimately, put your life in God’s hands and be attentive to any premonitions you might have while driving.
Drive safely, and live longer.