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Driving On A Flat Tire

by Cherly Fowler

Drivers usually get a sinking feeling when they see their tire pressure light come on suddenly and feel a tug in one direction or the other on their vehicle. You know you have a flat and need to pull over. However, you find yourself in an unsafe area. Maybe it's a dark and abandoned road or one with little to no shoulder. As a driver, you need to know how to proceed in this situation.


Driving with a flat tire is not a safe proposition. Your car will not handle well, and it will have poor traction. If you feel you must continue to drive, proceed slowly and with your hazard lights on. Your first responsibility is to keep yourself safe. Remember that your tires and rims come second. If you find yourself on a deserted road or in a dangerous area, driving until you reach a safe and inhabited stopping place is a good idea. It may be hard on your car, but you will be protected. 


If you drive far on your flat tire, it will undoubtedly be shredded. However, driving a short distance should not harm it. Experts say that driving your car several hundred yards to a better stopping place is acceptable as long as you keep your speed to approximately 20 mph. Pulling over immediately is not a good idea if it places you in the way of traffic. If your tire is not completely flat, you can try and make it to a repair shop as long as you check the tire pressure after every mile. 


Although you can afford to replace a ruined tire, replacing a rim is another matter. Simply repairing a rim can cost you between $75 and $480. Replacing a rim can cost up to $500. Once the tire is shredded, you lose the cushioning effect that it provides. If you continue to drive on a shredded tire, you can also cause damage to your brakes and other auto parts. 

Run Flat Tires

To prevent this issue, you can purchase "run flat" tires, tires that are designed to survive up to 100 miles so that you can drive to a repair shop. You will pay more, but they will certainly give you a sense of security.

Of course, you should pull over immediately when you get a flat if it's safe to do so. If it isn't, continue on until you find a safe spot. Driving on a flat can be expensive, but your safety is always more important than your vehicle's. Click here for more information on tires.