What Do I Do When I Get a Flat Tire on the Highway?

Getting a flat tire anywhere is stressful, but the event is also filled with extra hazards when it happens on the highway. Here are some steps to take in this situation. 

Create an Exit Plan

If you notice that your tire has popped, create a plan for safely getting off of the road. It's very dangerous to keep driving on a damaged tire because you could lose control of the car. If your tire hasn't yet blown out, and you can make it to an exit quickly, you may wish to exit the highway and then pull off to the side of the road. If your tire has completely blown out, pull onto the shoulder of the highway and put on your hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic of the issue. 

Call a Towing Company

If you are stuck on the highway with a flat tire, it's highly inadvisable that you get out to try and fix the tire yourself. Oncoming traffic may not spot you, especially if you are on the ground trying to lift the car with your spare tire jack. The best thing to do is to call a towing company that can bring you and your vehicle to a tire-repair center. While you're waiting, stay as far from traffic as you can. 

Visit a Tire-Repair Shop

When you visit a tire shop for a tire fix, they will do a few things. The first is to assess the condition of the rim. If you had a blowout or had to drive the car off of the road on a flat tire, it's possible that the rim could be damaged and need to be replaced along with the tire. The next thing they will do is offer you a selection of tires for replacement. If you choose a used tire, you may be able to save considerably on the job, but note that you will likely need to replace the tire again much sooner. Your mechanic will put the new tire on and then check for any issues with suspension and other parts of the tire system that could have sustained damage. 

If you didn't have a spare-tire kit with you during the accident, you might want to purchase one at this time. This can sometimes help you avoid the cost of towing as long as you can find a safe spot to place the spare tire.