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Risks of Driving on a Flat Tire

By Social
In February 25, 2019
On Blog
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You’ve finally gotten yourself out the front door only to find out you have a flat tire. Or, maybe you’ve just heard that telltale flapping sound that can only indicate one thing – a sudden tire blowout. Now what? Can you drive on the flat? Unless you’re across the street from a service station with an air pump, just down the street from a tire shop, or happen to have an emergency inflator kit handy, the answer is definitely no! Your best bet is to pull safely off the road (if you’re driving), put on your spare, or call us.

Here’s why you don’t want to drive on a flat:

  • You may damage the tire and tire rims beyond the point of repair: The air in your tire supports the weight of your vehicle so when there is no air or low air, it can quickly cause internal structural damage to both the tire and rim. It’s better to wait for a repair, especially when the issue is only a little screw or nail in the tread. The rule of thumb is that when a flat is caused by a puncture to the tread of up to 1/4” in diameter, it can generally be repaired. For large cutouts, sidewall punctures, and tires with internal damage, a new tire is usually warranted.
  • You could damage your vehicle: As the tire, itself breaks apart, separates from the rim and begins to flail around the tire wheel, important, and expensive, components such as brake lines, rotors, fenders, and suspension parts are likely to get seriously damaged.
  • You could lose control of your vehicle: When a tire fails, it can quickly lead to unsafe handling and unsafe loss of vehicle control. If the tire affects the brake lines or suspension components, it can cause erratic vehicle behavior, including accidents.

To prevent a flat before it happens, you should regularly inspect your tires for the following signs:

  • The appearance of built-in defects – visible bumps or bulges
  • Cracks in the tire surface
  • Under 2/32nds of tread depth
  • Steel belts showing through the tread
  • Extremely low air pressure
  • Incorrect tire size/type/load capacity
  • Incorrect vehicle loading
  • Irregular tire rotation

If you do find yourself with a flat, avoid doing massive damage to your vehicle and putting yourself and other motorists at risk by pulling over as soon as possible. A flat can happen without warning and is not only scary but dangerous. Stop driving, put on your spare tire, and give our helpful team a call at 1.866.224.5989. Our call center will answer your call 24 hours a day.

 

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