What do I do If I get a flat tire on the highway?

Flat Tire
Blow outs and flat tires can be one of the scarier things to go wrong for you on the highway.   The AAA says “tire-related” problems are responsible for approximately one-third of all roadside emergencies.   It happens so often that thousands of drivers are dealing with this problem just while you took the time to read this blog entry. About seven times every second!

What Should I Do If I Get a Flat Tire While I’m Driving?

You hear the thumping or bumping, your vehicle might be pulling to the left or right, and you suspect it is an issue with your tires. Don’t panic, put on your emergency flashers. Slow down, and try to get off the road. If you’re near a parking lot, you can pull in to it otherwise, pull off onto the right shoulder as far as possible. The left side shoulder may be an option on certain freeways. You do not want to continue driving far because without air in the tire, there is just a thin piece of rubber between the pavement and your rim. Any extra time driving on that piece of rubber makes it THAT much more likely that a flat tire becomes a blowout. You can easily bend the rim as well if you drive on it for any period of time.
Let those considerations make the choice for you between trying to make the next exit and choosing the nearest shoulder to safely pull off.

Should I Try Fixing a Flat Tire Myself?

The frustration of being on the side of the road on a busy highway is bad. With a lugnut that will not break loose it is even worse. It is something I have experienced myself and I don’t recommend it for anyone. Changing a tire can be a simple task but the complications can easily add up and make calling roadside assistance a good idea.The steps to do it yourself SHOULD be just a matter of loosening a few lug nuts, jacking up the car, swapping wheels and getting the lug nuts tight again. Years without being unscrewed or a previous mechanic using an air wrench that tightens the lugnuts extremely tight make these steps far more difficult.
The easiest repairs quickly can become dangerous. With traffic whizzing by at 70 mph, or if you’ve pulled over so that the flat tire is on the same side as the passing cars and trucks, the risk is even higher.
Fewer and fewer new vehicles have spare tires. The AAA reports that nearly 30 percent of the cars and trucks produced for the 2017 model year rely on alternatives such as run-flat tires and inflator kits instead. And neither will help if you have more than a small hole in your tire.  Run-flat tires are a thing. They contain capsules of lubricant so the tyre can be driven on, flat, for tens of miles at modest speed. Enough to get to a garage. The downside is that once they’re driven on flat, they cannot be repaired.
Most modern vehicles have tire-pressure monitoring, so you ought to know if a tire is going or has gone flat even if you can’t tell by the handling.

The best tool for changing tires

Pew studies for 2017 show that 95% of people have a cellphone while only 70% of new cars have spare tires. Your cellphone may just be the best tool you have for responding to a flat on the highway. Ultimately, your safety is the most important consideration- tires can be replaced, people can not be.

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