Monday, May 14, 2007
A Tire Blow Out on the Highway
Yesterday, a friend of mine and her husband met us at a restaurant in the valley for a Mother's day lunch. There were five of us: me, my husband, A, my friend, and her husband. The food was great! We banqueted on steamed crabs, raw and cooked oysters, clams, mussels, yummy duck, lechon, sushi, fish, barbeque pork, chinese dumplings, and many more. I could only eat so much. I didn't even eat rice. I was stuffed! My husband had his fill.
After lunch, we went on our separate ways. My friend went to Costco, while my daughter and I went shopping in the mall. My husband stayed in his usual favorite place..the bookstore. I purchased a cute blouse for myself and my daughter bought two cute summer blouses. Then we headed home.
We were maintaining a speed of 67 miles an hour on an uphill grade when we suddenly heard a big blow, immediately followed by the thumping and banging noises. We were within several miles from our town. My husband said, "hold on! hold on!" while he tensely tried to hold firmly on the steering wheel. I didn't know what was happening. The car was shaking so bad, accompanied by a pounding noise. I was scared! We never experienced something like this before. I looked back and saw a woman pull over to the side. I saw pieces of tires flying all over. I looked over to the other side of the road and saw a big drop off though there was a railing to protect us. Eventually, the vehicle started slowing down and my husband was able to begin to apply the brakes and quickly pulled over on the shoulder. My husband warned us to never slam the brakes when a blow out happens so we will not lose control of vehicle and cause it to swerve all over the road. Wait until you regain control of the vehicle, then you can start applying brakes. He also cautioned not to panic. Also, it is best to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
We got out and saw the tire totally ripped off. The wheel's well was broken, too. We were all shaken! We started unloading the back of our vehicle to search for the tools for changing tire. Since we bought this vehicle nine years ago, we have never used the jack, the tire arn, etc. It tooks us a while to figure out how to unhook the doughnut spare tire. My husband tried poking in every hole he could find with the tire arn and eventually found the right one and unravelled the spare tire.
First, we put rocks behind each wheel to stabilize our vehicle. Next, we loosened all the knots to the tire before raising the jack. Some people would apply the jack first before loosening the knots. Not a good idea because if you lift the jack up, the wheels will be hanging in the air, then when you try to loosen the knots, the wheel spins or the jack could shift off while loosening the knots and the vehicle could crash to the ground and might even hit somebody.
Suddenly, I saw another vehicle pulled over behind us. They were my friends. They passed us on the highway and was unable to stop so they looked for a safe place to turn around a few miles away and came to the rescue. It felt good seeing them. Earlier, I was hoping that they would see us and somehow they read my mind. He helped my husband finish installing the tire.
We drove slowly home while my friend kept a good distance behind us to make sure we were okay. We noticed that there were three other vehicles which also experienced a blow out right about in the same area. I wondered why. We stopped on one of the vehicles and offered help. A guy driving a motorcyle who also cared to stop thought that it might have been caused by the heat outside making the tire swell and blow out. It could also be that the tire was defective.
What a Mother's day experience! Hope you know what to do when faced with this situation.
Note: our four tires are only a year old.