Ask a Trooper: What do you do if you have a tire blowout?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: We have a new driver in the house. I was trying to explain to my child what to do if you have a tire blowout or experience steering failure. It might mean a bit more coming from a state trooper. Could you please explain? Thank you for all you do.

Troy Christianson

Answer: A “blowout” is a burst tire that can throw your vehicle out of control. Before a blowout occurs, you may hear a thumping sound or notice the steering wheel pulling to the right or left. If you experience a blowout, hold the steering wheel tightly, steer straight ahead and slowly ease your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake until the vehicle is back under your control. Pull the vehicle completely off the road at the nearest safe location.

Email newsletter signup

When it comes to steering failure, if the front wheels of your vehicle do not respond when you turn the steering wheel, ease up on the accelerator. Do not brake unless it is necessary to avoid a crash. Your vehicle may balance on its own and travel in a straight path as you reduce speed. If you must apply the brake, do so gently. If you brake suddenly, or try to shift gears, the change in speed may throw the vehicle off balance and out of control.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.