Think Fast: What to do if your tire blows out on the interstate

(WTOL) - Sometimes in life you're forced to make a decision in seconds that could change the entire course of your life.

Our think fast series is here to help you plan ahead for scenarios you may never want to, but might have to, face. Now, we navigate the highways.

Driving on the highway for any length of time, chances are you've seen tire fragments along the way.

"They don't sweep the streets like they did when we were kids," Nikki Franks, a manager at Belle Tire, said. "So you could snag a pothole, you could snag a nail, anything along those lines and you can't see it. A lot of them you can't see coming."

Franks said blown out tires are one of the leading causes of accidents. They can even cause hundreds of fatal collisions a year.

"It is pretty dangerous, especially if you're going high speeds. You could flip over just depending on if you try to correct too much," she said.

Franks said if you feel a pull to the right or the left, or hear a thumping sound, you need to think fast. T

he best thing to do is turn on the hazards and coast to the side of the road.

"Do not break," Franks said. "Just let the car slow down itself as much as you can."

Hitting the brakes causes less control. Once on the side of the road, call police and a professional tow truck.

"It's not safe out there," Franks said. "People don't slow down. People don't get over. There's too many accidents."

Now you know what to do if it happens. But prevention is best. Keep your wheels healthy.

Here's a quick tip. If you have a quarter, you can check your own tire's tread. Just put Washington's head in between the tread lines, and if it covers the whole forehead, then you're good.

Healthy tires are well aligned and rotated- every 5,000 to 10,000 miles is a good frame of reference. Your tires should always be properly filled.

Many cars will alert you with a light on the dash. A sticker on the driver's side door should tell you the recommended pressure.

"If it gets too hot and it's already at max capacity, you run the risk of blowing it out that way. Same thing with being too low."

Franks says its proper care and precaution that could save you from an accident. Or just might save your life.

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