Getting a flat tire flat out sucks no matter where you are or when. The worst part about it is that it’s often unpredictable and unavoidable.
Sure you can take all the precautions that you want like buying expensive new tires to handle all kinds of weather conditions. But if you run over something sharp while going 70 on a highway you’ll probably going to have to pull over.
Hopefully you’ll never run into this issue, but if you do, changing a flat isn’t that hard as long as you have the necessary tools, a spare tire and this step-by-step guide on what to do.
1. Pull over somewhere safe:
You’re going to need a level and solid surface to make sure your car doesn’t start rolling while you’re changing your tire. If you’re near a road, park as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights (emergency flashers) to warn other drivers. Avoid hills and soft ground at all cost since you should never change a tire on an incline.
We reached out to Robert Sinclair, Manager, Media Relations at AAA New York, to find out what people should do if a driver can’t get over to the side of the road while on a highway.
“If a driver gets a flat on the highway and there’s no safe place to pull over, they should pull to the right lane, turn on their four-way flashers and drive on the flat tire until they reach a safe place,” said Sinclair to AutoWorldNews. “It’s true the tire will be ruined, and there may be some damage to the wheel and, perhaps, some other components. But, that’s better than being dead!”
“Being in or around a broken down car in the midst of fast moving highway traffic is a formula for disaster,” he added. “The number one cause of death for a law enforcement officer is a traffic mishap by the side of the road, far more than shootings or stabbings. Tires and even vehicles can be replaced. A life cannot.”