How to Drive on a Flat Tire

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Having a tire blowout while you are on the road is a scary and dangerous event. It is crucial to keep your wits about you in order to drive your car to safety. Being prepared and learning a few helpful techniques can help you avoid a disaster if you ever have to drive on a flat tire.

  • Grip the steering wheel tightly as soon as you sense that a tire has ruptured.

  • Refrain from panicking and remember to breathe.

  • Scan the road for the nearest and safest place to exit the road. This may be the shoulder if you are closer to the left lane or it may be an exit if you are in the right lane.

  • Maneuver the car smoothly and cautiously to your exit point. Be sure to use your lane-changing signals as appropriate.

  • Drive the car completely off of the road, allowing room to open the car door without interfering with traffic.

  • Take your foot off of the gas and allow the car to slow down naturally with the road's friction. Do not slam on the brakes.

  • Push the brake pedal gingerly until the car comes to a complete stop.

  • Put the car in the park position, engage the emergency brake and turn off the car.

  • Turn on your hazard lights to indicate an emergency situation to passing drivers.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is better to let your car roll off the road even at a moderate speed rather than stopping anywhere on the road. This will help you avoid a collision.
  • You may never have to worry about driving on a flat tire if you are vigilant about your car's maintenance. Have the tires rotated and the treads checked regularly to make sure there aren't any weak spots.
  • When your tire goes flat, resist your first instinct to slam on the brakes. Doing so would only make your car less maneuverable and potentially cause an accident.
  • Because of the change in balance and alignment, your car will be much more difficult to steer while you drive on a flat tire. Be prepared to use a lot of force to turn the wheel and keep it steady.
  • The longer you drive on a flat tire, the more damage you risk incurring to both the tire and the wheel. The rim can easily get bent and warped when it takes on the full weight of the car.
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