Defensive Driving: What to Do If You Get a Flat Tire While Driving

If you get a flat tire, your own safety, the safety of your passengers and those travelling in vehicles around you depend on your ability to keep calm, think quickly, and carry out the steps below.

Here are six steps to consider when you realize you have a flat tire.

Step One: Slow down –But brake slowly! With only three tires on the road, you will have reduced traction. Don’t make a bad situation worse by causing the car to spin or slide into traffic. Take your foot off the accelerator and gently apply the brake.

Step Two: Steer into safety. As you slow down, steer the car into a safe zone like a nearby parking lot (if you’re on city streets) or the side of the road (if you’re on the highway).

Step Three: Pull off to the right.  If you can, pull your car off to the RIGHT side of the road, unless crossing multiple lanes of traffic is impossible or unsafe. Once you are off the road, stop your car as far away from the road as possible.

Step Four: Turn on your flasher lights.  This is very important if you’re unable to get out from the flow of traffic. Flashers are an immediate alert to other drivers that you are in trouble and could mean avoiding a serious hit from behind. Raising your hood also sends a similar message.

Step Five: If you’re able to change the flat tire yourself, only change the tire if you can work safely. Otherwise, call roadside assistance or the non-emergency police number for assistance.

Step Six: Wait safely. If you’re waiting for help, stand well back from the road.

BONUS: It’s impossible to eliminate the chance of a flat tire but adding a few items to your car’s inventory can make dealing with one a little easier.

  1. Carry a spare tire and equipment to help install it, like a tire jack and lug wrench.
  2. Foam sealants are a cheap quick fix for a flat, but should only be used in emergencies. Some tire shops will refuse to repair a tire because sticky residue the sealant leaves behind. Still, in an emergency when you need to get back on the road from a remote location, having foam sealant handy can be a temporary fix.

If you’ve been in an Ontario car accident and need the advice of an accident lawyer, reach out to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  We will provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions about compensation in your case.  Call our law firm today 416 445 3529.

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