In a really unfortunate and scary incident, four people of a family lost their lives in Nizamabad district (Dichpally) after their Ecosport rammed into a truck. The deceased include a man, his wife and their two kids.
The initial report on Team BHP and a news report in The Hindu quoting eyewitnesses said that the new Ford EcoSport Titanium they were travelling in suffered a tyre burst, lost control and collided with an oncoming truck. However, there is no confirmation of this. A Facebook post in a Ford Figo group, by an unidentified person, claimed that the tyre burst occured after the driver was distracted by a phone call that gave him some bad news about his business. It is quite possible that the tyre burst occured after the EcoSport went out of control and crashed.
It’s said that the family of four was returning from a marriage in Hyderabad. While the speed of the EcoSport moments before the accident can’t be ascertained, it must be noted here that the unfortunate crash happened on a section near Nizamabad where people generally do high speeds owing to really less traffic. A tyre burst at expressway speeds often proves fatal. From whatever can be made out of the images we have here, the EcoSport seems to have been T-boned by the truck. The EcoSport must have crashed into the truck side-on, and slid under it. In such a severe accident, a car’s crumple zones and airbags can’t do much to protect the occupants.
Dangers of tyre bursts
Tyre blowouts are among the biggest causes of road accidents. They are also among the biggest fears of any driver doing high-speeds on an expressway. Incidents of tyre bursts witness a rise during summers. With the already high temperatures and an increase in heat from higher friction at high speeds, air pressure rises inside the tyre. Hot air expands and ends up bursting the tyre to escape the enclosed structure.
Here are some tips to prevent tyre bursts
1. Take frequent breaks
The best way to cool down the tyres on a hot day is to take frequent breaks. The air inside the tyres starts losing its temperature as soon as a car comes to a halt. Hence, taking frequent breaks ensures that the air inside the car tyres never gets too hot.
2. Don’t speed beyond 100 kmph
Remember, higher the speed of the car, higher the friction between the road and the tyres. Higher friction leads to increase in temperature of the air inside the tyres. Hence, it’s best to avoid very high speeds during summers. Keep the car below 100 kmph to keep the tyres sufficiently cool.
3. Maintain tyre pressure and fill correctly on a cold tyre
Make sure the tyres are correctly inflated. Maintaining the right air pressure is of utmost importance to prevent tyre bursts. Get the air pressure checked immediately after you start driving.
4. Use well-maintained tyres only
Older tyres have a weaker sidewall, which is easily prone to bursting. Hence, one should avoid using old tyres. It’s best to change tyres within 6 years, irrespective of the tread that’s left on them.
5. Don’t overload
Remember, tyres are the only parts of your car that are constantly in contact with the road. Overloading puts a direct stress on them, which can increase the chances of a tyre burst. Hence, never overload your car.