An SUV, a Tata Safari to be specific, met with an accident because the tyre exploded. The SUV was travelling at a decent speed when the tyre exploded and the SUV crashed into an oncoming truck, killing 5 on the spot and one in the hospital.
Police have registered a case and are investigating the event, while the exact reason to why the tyre exploded is still a mystery. One probable cause could have been the heat, and here are a few tips as to how one can avoid a mishap such as this and also take care of your tyre during summer and other seasons.
1. Inspect tyres before going for trip
Always inspect your tyres before setting out on a road trip. Inspect to see if anything unusual catches your attention, like a nail or a screw lodged in. Also, make sure your tyres have enough tread on them, because balt tyres are more prone to exploding. Also check the spare wheel and ensure that is in good condition.
2. Maintain specified tyre pressure
The tyre manufacturer or the vehicle manufacturer will always specify recommended tyre pressure — stick to it. Running a vehicle with low or high pressure will result in uneven tyre wear, thus increasing the chance of an accident. If the tyre pressure is low or high, it will also affect the handling of the vehicle.
3. Do not use oversized tyres
Vehicle modifications are quite common and the first alteration one would usually do is fit their car with a broader tyre. It may look good, but if the tyre is broader than recommended, there is a high chance that the tyre would scrape against the body while driving over speed humps or while cornering hard. A small contact such as that will be very dangerous for the car, especially at high speeds.
4. Use Specified tyres
Use tyres that are specified by the company. Many SUVs are seen driving on highways with off-road tyres, which makes the SUV look cool and mean. But the actual truth is they are meant to give you more traction off the road and not on it. A simple pool of water on the highway will offset the traction, and even braking will not be efficient enough.
5. Wheel balancing/ alignment should be done on time
Regular checkup and maintenance is key to safe driving. Get your vehicle's tyre balanced and aligned properly. If the tyre is not aligned well, one edge of the tyre will take all the load and will wear out in no time. In other words, a non aligned tyre is a ticking time bomb that is waiting to explode.
6. Swap/ rotate tyres at regular/ recommended intervals
Tyre alignment is just one part of the process, rotate them at regular intervals recommended by the company or by the tyre dealer. This will help the tyre wear out uniformly and will also last longer.
7. Change all four tyres
This is a very common mistake people do. When it comes to changing tyres, replace all four tyres and not just one or two tyres. Not changing all four tyres will result in bad handling, loss of traction, poor tyre life and drop in mileage. It is like when your shoes wear out and you only buy one shoe and not a pair.
8. Buy tyres from authorised dealers
As simple as it may sound, it is also very important. An authorised dealer will give you necessary maintenance tips, free checkup, and also if the tyre is under warranty, he will get it sorted in case it has to be replaced.
9. Maintain decent speed while driving
Tyres come with performance figures as in how fast the vehicle can be driven with that particular model fitted in the car. It is usually higher than what the car is capable of, but that doesn't mean that you have to drive at high speeds. Tyres have the ability to change air pressure in them and that coupled with the heat and high speeds will result in disaster.
10. Give the car a break
Stop over, may be for 15 minutes or so every 2 to 3 hours. This will give the tyres a chance to cool down, and also time for you to check the tyres if a nail or a stone has done any damage to the tyre along the way.
11. Easy on the braking
Aggressive driving is dangerous for the tyre as well. Aggressive driving leads to hard acceleration and braking, which in turn leads to screeching halts. Remember, all this is directly affecting the tyre and will reduce your tyre life drastically. Accelerate gently and brake gently.