What will happen if you have a rear tyre blowout? What will happen if you have a rear tyre blowout?

  • A. The back end will sway towards the side of the blowout

  • B. The back end will sway away from the blowout

  • C. The front end will pull towards the side of the blowout

  • D. The front end will pull to the opposite side of the blowout

  • E. The back end will sway from side to side

  •  
    The correct answer is E
     
    Correct. The back end is likely to first swing out the same side as the blowout, but will sway from side to side.
     
 
 
 

What happens if you have a rear tyre blowout?

Tyre blowouts can be caused by hitting some sharp object on the road, for example glass; by hitting a larger object on the road such as a brick; by overheating if you have underinflated them; by the tyre rolling off the rim on a corner if you have underinflated them; or by driving on tyres that are worn out, i.e. you haven't replaced them in time.

A blowout means the tyre deflates instantly rather than goes flat slowly. The instant loss of pressure is the first thing that unbalances the vehicle.

Because there is less rolling resistance on the side of the blowout at the rear of the vehicle, it will first swing that way. But it can't continue to swing that way forever and eventually it will grip and the forward momentum will swing the back end back the other way, leading to a fishtailing effect. An overcorrection at this point will mean a spin. 

As the majority of the braking force is transmitted through the front wheels, braking performance won't be compromised much, but braking heavily could still unbalance the vehicle.

If your car is fitted with electronic stability control (ESC), you should be able to apply moderate braking force because the electronics in the car will stabilise the skid and keep you heading straight faster than you can react. There's more information about braking using ESC here

There may be a possibility of having the tyre repaired, so put the space saver wheel on as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the tyre. If you continue to drive on it your tyre will shred and that can cause bits of it to hit and damage the body work. 

If your vehicle comes with a foam aerosol you might be able to effect a temporary repair as long as the hole in the tyre isn't too big. These usually give you enough distance to get to a tyre repair centre.