Monday, July 13, 2009

Watching a Blowout

Driving back from the store today, after a fruitless search for an Air Force bumper sticker to replace the one that wore off, I got back on Loop 820 on the east side of Fort Worth. I had just changed lanes moving over to the right when a big truck with double tires on the back blew one of the inner tires. Pieces of the debris, and tire blew against my hood and windshield. I braced myself, hitting the brakes and watched the tread come rolling toward me. I noticed my arms were so tense and locked, from the explosion or the suprise. I had no time to check behind me. And the truck continued on down Loop 820 like nothing had happened. He had to have felt it. Maybe the driver only felt a bump and thought he had hit some road debris. I wondered if this is just a little taste of what the soldiers experience when they hit IEDs. This was just a big truck tire blowing up. And the dust, and grit and gravel it kicked up, and the noise and flying tread gave me a scare. But, I got to continue on home in the comfort of an air conditioned car. Shaken, but unharmed. Glad I was a lane apart from the truck when it blew. Glad I was not traveling any closer to that tire or the tread would have spun up on my hood. I wonder when the truck driver stopped and noticed he was missing a tire. I wonder how far he scattered debris, as I could see an innertube still rotating on the hub of where that inner tire used to be.

I experienced a blow out when I was living in Houston. The buick I was driving, a huge tank of a car, had a blowout of one of the passenger tires. I remember how the car pulled and how you have to struggle to stay in your lane and come to a safe stop. Someone helped me put on the spare, and I was on my way in no time. But you never forget that sound, that pop/bang. Like a gun going off. It was dangerous.


Bob said...

I thought I checked your blog last night before we went to bed, but I didn't see this story. Good thing you weren't right up on the truck. That's really dangerous when a big chunk of rubber come flying at you.

(I note that your having a blowout on a Houston Freeway didn't keep you from continuing to drive on bald tires -- but that's a different story.)

joyce said...

Yes, I can't believe I forgot to tell you about this. It was one of those things that make you jump. And it happened so fast.

The bald tires were on the "new" car I bought after the buick, and after the ford.