What You Should Do After Getting a Flat Tire

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What You Should Do After Getting a Flat Tire

Getting a flat tire is something that many drivers dread and, unfortunately, must experience at some point in their lives. Do you know what you’re supposed to do if your vehicle’s tire suddenly gets punctured? Learn what you should do after getting a flat tire below.

Pull Over Safely & Park

The first thing a driver must do when they realize their vehicle has a flat tire is to promptly but safely pull over to the side of the road out of traffic or into a nearby parking lot if possible. If you noticed that your car had a flat tire before you started driving, you can skip this step. You’ll want to get out of traffic with a flat tire as soon as possible, but don’t endanger yourself and other drivers by slamming on the brakes—stay calm, reduce your speed, and get out of the way.

It’s best to pull into a parking lot or out-of-the-way area, but if you’re on a highway or freeway, you’ll have to move onto the shoulder as much as possible to give yourself a safe amount of room from traffic. As you slow down, put on your hazard lights so vehicles know to give you space.

Change the Tire or Call for Help

Once you’ve safely removed the car and yourself from traffic and away from harm, it’s time to change the tire. If you know how to change a tire and have done it before, now’s the time to use those skills and experience.

Call for roadside assistance if you don’t know how to change a tire or have never done it before and aren’t confident in your abilities. Many auto insurance providers offer their customers free roadside assistance and towing, so check with your policy or contact your insurance agent. Or, if you have a friend or family member nearby that knows how to change a tire, ask them for a helping hand.

Replace the Tire Immediately

Once you’ve got the spare on, you can safely drive the vehicle again, but only briefly. Automakers intend spare tires to get driven on only in emergencies and for up to 50 miles at most, so you should immediately bring your car to a mechanic or tire shop to get fitted for new tires as soon as possible.

Remember that it’s best to replace all the car tires at the same time instead of just the flat. A new tire, paired with three older tires with different tread wear, can cause an imbalance in your vehicle’s suspension and diminish vehicle performance, comfort, and tire longevity.

Now you know what you should do after getting a flat tire. Getting a sudden flat tire can be frightening, but if you stay calm and know what to do, you can put everything behind you in a few short hours.

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