Having a flat tire is never a fun experience, but there are many things you can do both to prevent a flat from happening and also to safely approach changing a tire. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
Before Your Next Flat
Consider purchasing a reputable road-side assistance program.
Familiarize yourself with the car owner’s manual on the proper procedure & warnings for changing a flat.
Remove the jack and wrench, assemble and practice operating it. If it is rusty, lubricate it.
Store a couple of parking blocks in your trunk. Also store a roadside emergency kit in your trunk – most include a flashlight, tire sealant, tire inflator, reflective road markers, etc. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any auto accessory store.
Periodically check your tires to make sure they are properly inflated, INCLUDING YOUR SPARE! Spare tires are not usually in sight and often neglected, causing them to be flat and unusable.
During a Flat
Put your emergency flashers on.
Gradually slow down and pull over to the road as far as possible. Never stop suddenly. Check your surroundings and if you feel unsafe for any reason, do not hesitate to call Emergency 911.
Make sure the ground is level and secure. Jacks should never be placed where the ground is soft and subject to sinking.
Use parking blocks. Block the front & back of the tire that is diagonally opposite to the flat.
Place any safety markers behind the car and on the road.
Follow your car’s procedures and warnings for changing a tire.
After a Flat
Have your tire repaired or replaced. Most spares are only meant for temporary use. Have all other tires evaluated at the same time, including your spare.
Did You Know?
The earliest tires were bands of iron (later steel), placed on wooden wheels, used on carts and wagons. The tire would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit tightly on the wheel. Some say that the first practical pneumatic tire was made by Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop while working as a veterinarian in Belfast in 1887. He created the tire for his sons bicycle, in an effort to prevent the headaches his son had while riding on rough roads. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories in the United States.
By avoiding flat tires and preparing for the inevitable, you can help yourself to avoid some of the more serious dangers of driving an automobile. At Gordon Insurance, your safety and security in your vehicle is important to us, so please give us a call if you have any questions about protecting the investment you have made in your vehicle. Learn more about auto insurance here.