Why do tyres burst in summer

A burst tyre refers to when a tyre rapidly loses pressurised air, which occurs when the structural integrity of the tyre is compromised. This then makes the tyre unable to hold all air inside - causing it to burst. A tyre burst can be a scary experience - especially if you're driving at high speeds surrounded by other motorists. But why does a vehicle's tyre burst in summer more often than other months?

Summer tyre burst causes

Typically, the higher temperatures during the summer months put more pressure on the air inside tyres - causing them to heat up and problems to occur. Some of the main summer tyre burst causes include:

  • Age of the tyres - if your tyre is old, it's likely to be more worn down than new tyres, which can cause problems in itself. However, during high summer temperatures, your tyres may not be able to handle the pressure if they have significant tyre wear, which comes with tyre age - meaning they're more likely to burst.
  • Tyre pressure - this is one of the most common tyre burst causes. If you are driving on an under-inflated tyre, this will cause the tyre to bounce up and down - and additional friction will be created. Combining this additional friction with the heat of summer can weaken the tyres - and cause them to burst. Over inflation can also be a cause of tyre burst - as this can cause the tyres to expand too much, and then burst due to the pressure of the summer temperatures. Although this is especially more common in summer, this can happen all year round.
  • High speed for long durations - another common tyre burst cause is driving for long distances at high speeds. This type of driving can cause heat to expand the pressure of the tyres - as your tyres can become over-pressurised from the weight of your vehicle and the heat coming off the road surface. This makes the tyres more susceptible to burst.
  • Faulty tyres - always check the condition of your tyres to ensure they are not worn or damaged. This is because tyres with cuts, cracks, bulges or damages are more likely to burst in the summer due to excess pressure.
  • Vehicle weight - ensure that your vehicle weight is not too heavy. This would not only help to reduce pressure on the tyres on hot summer days, but it would also help you with your fuel efficiency too - as a heavier vehicle uses more fuel to drive.

What to do if your tyre bursts

  • Keep calm - firstly, take a deep breath and remain in control of the vehicle. Do not panic - as panicking may lead you to losing control of the vehicle. Follow the below steps in order to get to safety.
  • Avoid heavy braking - although impulsively you may want to immediately brake, if you brake heavily on a burst tyre, this can cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Imagine you are driving on ice - apply gentle braking, or no braking at all if it's your front tyres which have burst, and slowly guide the vehicle in the direction you need to go in. If you are surrounded by traffic and other motorists, it would be a good idea to put on your hazard lights so they're aware there is a problem.
  • Use your accelerator - instead of using the brakes, apply the accelerator instead. As you add momentum to your vehicle, you will be able to steer your vehicle in a straight line.
  • Grip your wheel firmly - while accelerating and not braking, ensure you grip your wheel tightly with both hands - as your vehicle will pull towards the direction of the damaged tyre.
  • Pull over in a safe spot - when your tyre bursts, you will not be able to drive on it for very long - so it's important that you make sure you pull over in a safe spot. Remember to put on your hazard lights and, if you have them, place reflective safety triangles in front and behind your car. This will alert passing motorists that you have broken down.
  • Replace your tyre or call for recovery - if you have a spare tyre in your boot, you can change your tyre in a safe space. Alternatively, you can call for roadside assistance.

Now you've learnt why tyres burst in summer, and what to do if your tyre bursts, visit our tyres to buy online section to purchase your own spare tyres, or replacement tyres now. Locate your nearest Setyres branch for local fitting.

Posted on: 22/06/2020

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