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What To Do If You Get A Flat Tire While Driving

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

What To Do If You Get A Flat Tire While Driving

Chad Eisenhart
March 21, 2013


My car is driving strangely and I think I have a flat tire… what sure I do?

First and foremost stay calm and get your vehicle to a safe place. Having a flat can be a trying time but remember you have to keep your passengers' and your safety as a priority. Once you have achieved your primary goal of getting everyone out of harm's way, then you can make the decision of who will replace the flat tire with the spare.

If you choose to "fix the flat" by putting on the spare, be logical and strategic with your decision-making. On the other hand, if you are going to rely on a towing company or roadside service provider, the garage that is going to fix or replace the flat is a great place to call first.

So, what should you consider when looking for a "safe place"? First, take into consideration the follow of traffic. The direction and speed of traffic should be your biggest concern when performing or having roadside service completed. Ultimately, you should try to be at a minimum of one car length or two car lanes away from the flow of traffic on a relative level location. Keep in mind this may mean you continue driving at a slow rate of speed on a flat tire.

Yes, move over to the right hand lane with your hazard lights on and drive on a flat. You are better to have driven on a flat tire than to pull over on a turn or a location where the shoulder (side of road) is too narrow to safely remove the flat and install the spare.

If you decide to remove the flat and install the spare yourself, you should confirm you have the inventory of tools required and the spare is adequate inflated before starting the task. You will need at least a jack, lug wrench and spare. Remember to loosen the lug nuts before "jacking up" the vehicle and place something (i.e., stone, piece of wood, etc) on both sides of the other tire on the same side as the flat. Also, if applicable, ask passenger(s) in the vehicle to remain seated and not to move around while vehicle is up on the jack. The shifting of weight inside a vehicle can cause the vehicle to fall off the jack.

Your challenge to find a quality roadside service provider can be achieved by calling the garage or tire shop you will entrust to fix your flat tire. Most reputable garages have long standing relationships with reputable towing companies that offer roadside service. Also, your garage may have an account with the towing company and your roadside service charges can be placed on the repair bill for your vehicle. So, give your trusted neighborhood mechanic a call and ask for a recommendation.

So remember, first and foremost stay calm and get your vehicle to a safe place when you believe you have a flat tire. Having a flat can be a trying time but remember you have to keep your passengers and yourself safe. Once in a safe location, you can make the decision of who will replace the flat with the spare. If you choose to "fix the flat" by putting on the spare, please think logically and keep safety in mind. On the other hand, if you are going to rely on a roadside service provider, the garage that is going to fix or replace the flat is a great place to call and get a recommendation.


Chad Eisenhart works with RC-Towing at http://www.rc-towing.com/ . RC Towing offers towing in Lancaster PA . They offer emergency towing and 24 hour a day 7 day a week towing of your vehicle. They also offers emergency road side assistance if you run out of gas, have a flat tire, locked out of your vehicle or your car won't start.



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