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“It was a loud explosion and started to pull,” What you should do before traveling this summer

OKLAHOMA CITY - You've probably seen them on the road - treads of blown tires littering the asphalt.

May through October is "tire blowout season"

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tire blowouts are estimated to cause more than 400 deaths and more than 78,000 crashes every year.

It happened to Steve Johnson, who works at News 4, and his family along I-44.

"It was a loud explosion and started to pull," Johnson said. "My biggest concern was getting off the highway safely."

Experts say under inflation is the easiest way to kill a tire.

The scorching summer heat is also a contributing factor.

"Heat up that rubber and make them more vulnerable, it can cause really severe crashes," said Leslie Gamble with AAA.

And, when your vehicle is bursting like an over-inflated balloon, your tires can buckle under the added weight.

Drivers need to recognize the added risk of summer blowouts and take precautions, like checking air pressure and tire tread.

"The best test is to use a quarter. Insert it down into the tire with Washington's head upside down. If the top of the head is showing you know you have low tire tread," said Gamble.

Just a few minutes of prevention can protect your family down the road.