by Genna Foster
According to inflator.com, in the U.S. alone, approximately seven tire punctures occur every second, resulting in over 200 million flat tires per year. So statistically, you will experience, on average, up to five flat tires in your lifetime.
There are steps you can take to prevent flats, although there are always unforeseen circumstances. Here are a few things to do to manage flat tires:
Prevention: Inspect your Tires
As a car owner, you should do regular maintenance checks on all parts of your car, including your tires. When inspecting your tires, you should look for uneven wear and damage that could lead to a flat, including the tread and sidewalls. It is also wise to check the inflation when you first turn on your car. Another way to extend the lifetime of your tires, besides monthly self-inspection, is to have them rotated. Often the place where you purchase your tires will do this for free, so be sure and check that out before paying!
Safety During a Flat Tire
If you are driving and get a flat tire, you should not panic. Do not abruptly brake or turn. Instead, keep the steering wheel straight as the car begins to pull. You should then gradually ease off the gas, signal over and slowly move to the side of the road. You want to ideally get to level ground because it will prevent your car from rolling.
Suppose you are in an area where you cannot pull to the side of the road. In this case, put on your hazards and slowly drive until you are in a safe place to stop. However, do not roll on the tire for a long distance because it can deteriorate and ruin the wheel.
If available, set up reflective cones behind your vehicle, placing them far enough away to warn other drivers.
Steps to Change a Flat Tire
1. Make sure you have a jack, lug wrench, spare tire and owner’s manual.
2. Turn on your hazards and apply the parking brake.
3. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover.
4. Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until loosened, which will take a lot of force.
5. Put the jack under the vehicle frame alongside the flat tire. Raise the jack until the tire is about six inches above the ground.
6. Remove the lug nuts and the flat tire.
7. Place the spare on the hub making sure to line up the rim with the lug bolts.
8. Place the lug nuts back on and slightly tighten
9. Use the jack to lower the vehicle and fully tighten the lug nuts.
10. Replace the hubcap and check the pressure in the spare.
While getting a flat tire is no fun for anyone, you must know what to do if it does happen to you. At TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate, we offer auto insurance and roadside assistance designed to help cover potential car-related damages, loss or injuries from a financial perspective. Contact us today to see what plan works best for you!