Tag Archive for Safety

Tyre Blowouts Explained (and what you need to know to avoid them)

Tyre Blowouts


Leaving your tyre under-inflated is the absolute worst thing you can do to it. I’m stating the obvious here, but given that air is the very element that enables a tyre to carry the substantial weight of a vehicle and its contents, leaving it gasping is a sure fire way to ensure the various components get pushed beyond their limits eventually leading to blowouts.

Under-inflated tyres reduces endurance and braking, makes road-holding less precise and increases fuel consumption as well as the risk of aquaplaning.

Check your vehicle’s handbook for the recommended pressure.


Tyre Blowout: Underinflated and overloaded Tyre's.

Tyre Blowout: Under-inflated and overloaded Tyre’s.



Your tyres have a Load Index located on the sidewall. Find, it, check it and, here’s the really important part, ADHERE TO IT! Overloaded tyres build up an excess in heat. Excess heat leads to serious tyre damage, such as blowouts. This rule also applies to the maximum axle load rating on your vehicle.

And remember, the maximum pressure number found on the tyre sidewall only applies to tyres that are fully inflated.



This one is particularly relevant here in Ireland, especially for anyone who has to subject their cars to our country roads. At low speeds hitting a deep pothole will not only damage your tyre, but also the wheel and steering alignment. Hitting those potholes at a higher speed dramatically increases the level of this damage by unravelling / fraying the internal components (aka blowouts)

If you do hit a pothole, stop the car as soon as it’s safe to do so and check for cuts in the rubber or lumps in the sidewall. Check to see if the steering pulls excessively to one side or whether there’s a vibration through the steering. If so, get to a garage / tyre specialist, as driving will only further deteriorate the condition of the tyres.

Be aware that sometimes, these tell-tale signs won’t be immediately apparent. The true extent of the damage incurred only reveals itself after a number of months.


The Long Goodbye

This is really the result of all of the above combined, a gradual accumulation of damage through under-inflated tyres, overloading and occasional happenstances with potholes, all of which are accompanied by a general idleness on the owners part to deal with the issues initially. Don’t let it get to that stage – better to deal with the issues head on rather than risk the tyres failing when driving on the motorway at speed with the entire family on board en-route to a family holiday.


Controlling your car during a blowout:

Now, should you be unfortunate enough to experience a tyre blowout (either through no fault of your own or because you ignored the warning signs), there are a number of actions you can take to avoid turning a minor accident into a potentially fatal one.


Front Tyre

Most importantly, stay calm.

Do NOT slam on the brakes or make any sudden turns.

Keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel and maintain a straight direction.

Check the mirrors on both sides for other traffic and plot the safest route to a gradual stop.

Bring the car to a gradual stop – a sudden deceleration will only place more weight on the damaged front tyre which can cause the car to veer dangerously to that side. If that happens the rim may grip the tarmac which can cause the car to flip.

Lower gears can be more effective than braking to reduce the speed in manual cars.


Back Tyre

Blowout’s on the rear tyres causes’ excessive drag which impacts on the car’s balance.

An imbalanced car will be difficult to steer straight.

To avoid spinning out, take your foot gradually off the accelerator.

Engage the lower gears as opposed to braking and bring to a slow and steady stop.

Tyre-Blowouts - what to do and what not to do

Tyre-Blowouts – what to do and what not to do



Winter Driving Safety Tips


Baton down the hatches because it’s about to get chilly! Forecasters have warned that Ireland is facing its coldest winter in years, with sub-zero temperatures, polar gales and heavy snowfall expected to sweep across the country over December, January and February.

That’s obviously going to impact on driving conditions and your car. With that in mind it’s worth asking yourself whether you’re prepared for any winter emergencies. We’ve prepared a checklist for both practical and essential items to have in your car should the winter conditions get the best of your vehicle.


Winter Driving Safety  – Practicals


Blanket / Gloves: Should your car break down in the back of beyond, you might want to conserve fuel and battery power (if you still have any that is). Keep a blanket and gloves tucked away in the boot and stay warm while you wait for help to arrive.

Shovel: Even a small folding shovel will do the trick if you get wedged in by snow.

Wind-up phone charger: If the battery in your car and phone is dead, and you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, a wind-up charger might just turn out to be one of the soundest purchases you ever made.


Winter Driving Safety  – Essentials


Warning Lights: Poor visibility during the winter months make road-side break downs that bit more hazardous. A Warning Triangle at least increases your visibility when pulled over.

Snow Socks: Give your car extra grip in snow and ice. Light and easy to fit. Can be kept in the car when not in use. Available in 5 sizes, these snow socks fit hundreds of different tyres. Fits on the cars drive wheels.

De-Icer: Essential and self-explanatory. Can also be used in emergencies to de-frost frozen car parts.

Ice Scraper: Stating the obvious…

Jump Leads: Battery failure is the most common cause of breakdowns and the likelihood of that happening increases during the winter months. Be prepared.

Hi-Vis Vest: In a scenario where you might be required to carry out some road-side repairs having a Hi-Vis vest is essential, especially when doing so in difficult-to-see winter conditions.

Torch: Essential if you need to get under the hood in the dark.

Screen Wash: As well as removing dirt, grime and insect deposits, Screen Wash also helps prevent freezing.


Improving Your Cars Winter Performance



Winter Tyres: A complete new set of winter tyres (where the rubber is optimized to stay flexible during cold snaps as opposed to regular tyres which turn hard and slippery) might sound expensive. However, in reality, if you spend a lot of time on the road during the winter months it’s a worthwhile investment. And besides, while you’re driving around on the winter tyres, the regular set isn’t being used and worn down.


Check your battery: While it’s always advisable to have a professional check your battery, there are a few ways even a novice can carry out a routine check and maintenance. Look out for corrosion on posts and cable connections and scrape away where necessary. Give the surfaces a clean and retighten all connections. If you can remove the battery caps check the fluid level monthly.


Wiper Blades / Fluid Levels: Rubber cladded wiper blades are best suited for scraping ice from the windscreen. In addition to this, ensure you have refilled your windshield washer reservoir with wiper solvent and keep plenty on hand. You can really go through it in large quantities during the winter months.


Bulbs / Lighting:  Replace any fading or burnt out bulbs while also regularly removing grime from the lenses.


Brakes: Finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, check your brakes.