The Dangers of Driving on a Flat Tire: Why You Should Always Pull Over

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You’re driving down the highway, and suddenly you hear a loud thump. Your steering wheel starts to vibrate, and your car begins to pull to one side. You’ve got a flat tire. What do you do? The temptation might be to keep driving until you reach a service station, but that could be a dangerous mistake. If you ever find yourself in this situation, remember that Bliss Towing Service is just a phone call away at 281-849-9991. But first, let’s explore why driving on a flat tire is never a good idea.

What Happens When You Drive on a Flat Tire

Damage to the Wheel and Tire Assembly

When you drive on a flat tire, you’re not just risking damage to the tire itself. The wheel can also suffer irreparable harm. The sidewall of the tire can become compressed between the wheel and the road, causing the wheel to deform or even crack. And if you keep driving, the tire can shred completely, leaving you with a dangerous situation on your hands.

Loss of Vehicle Control

A flat tire can make your car harder to steer and handle. The uneven distribution of weight can cause your vehicle to pull to one side, making it difficult to maintain control. This is especially true at high speeds, where even a small loss of control can lead to a serious accident.

Strain on Other Vehicle Components

Your car’s suspension, alignment, and other components are designed to work with properly inflated tires. When you drive on a flat, you put extra strain on these parts. Over time, this can lead to costly repairs that could have been avoided by simply pulling over and calling for help.

The Risks of Attempting to Drive to a Service Station

Increased Likelihood of a Blowout

A flat tire is bad enough, but a blowout is even worse. When a tire suddenly loses all its air pressure, it can cause your vehicle to swerve or even flip over. The risk of a blowout increases the longer you drive on a flat, especially at high speeds. It’s just not worth the risk.

Potential for Causing an Accident

Imagine trying to control your car during a blowout while navigating heavy traffic. The potential for causing a serious accident is high. Even if you manage to avoid hitting another vehicle, you could easily lose control and end up in a ditch or worse. Your safety, and the safety of your passengers and other motorists, should always be your top priority.

Further Damage to the Vehicle

We’ve already discussed how driving on a flat can damage your wheel and tire. But the longer you drive, the more extensive that damage can become. You might end up needing to replace the entire wheel assembly, which can be a costly repair. And that’s on top of any other damage caused by the loss of control or a potential accident.

What to Do When You Experience a Flat Tire

  1. Pull Over to a Safe Location: The moment you realize you have a flat, slow down and start looking for a safe place to stop. Ideally, you want to find a level spot away from traffic, such as a parking lot or a wide shoulder. If you’re on a busy highway, try to exit or pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Remember, your safety is paramount.
  2. Turn on Hazard Lights and Apply the Parking Brake: Once you’ve stopped, turn on your hazard lights. This makes you more visible and alerts other drivers too. This is especially important if you’re on the side of a busy road. You should also apply your parking brake to prevent your car from rolling. Even if you’re on a level surface, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Assess the Situation and Call for Assistance: Take a moment to inspect the damage to your tire. If you have a spare and feel confident in your ability to change it safely, you might consider doing so. However, if you’re unsure, or if you don’t have a spare, it’s best to call for professional help.

Proper Tire Maintenance

  1. Regular Inspections: One of the best ways to avoid a flat tire is to catch potential problems early. Make a habit of regularly inspecting your tires for signs of wear, damage, or foreign objects.
  2. Proper Inflation: Underinflated or overinflated tires are more prone to damage and failure. Check your tire pressure at least monthly, and always before long trips. You can find the recommended pressure for your vehicle in your owner’s manual or on a placard inside the driver’s side door jamb.
  3. Rotation and Balancing: Regularly rotating and balancing your tires can help them wear evenly, which can extend their life and improve your vehicle’s handling. Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or as specified in your owner’s manual.
  4. Timely Replacement: No tire lasts forever. Even with proper maintenance, it will eventually need to be replaced. Pay attention to your tire tread depth and look for signs of aging, such as cracks in the sidewall. If you’re unsure whether it’s time for new tires, consult with a professional mechanic.

What to Keep in Your Car for Emergencies

  1. Spare Tire and Jack: If your vehicle has a spare tire, make sure it’s properly inflated and in good condition. You should also have a jack and lug wrench that are compatible with your car.
  2. Tire Pressure Gauge: A small, inexpensive tire pressure gauge can be a lifesaver. Keep one in your glove box and use it regularly to check your tire pressure.
  3. Flashlight and Reflective Triangles: If you have to change a tire at night, a flashlight can be invaluable. Reflective triangles can also help alert other drivers to your presence on the side of the road.

Along with these items, you should also know how to properly change your tires. If not, you can always call someone to do it for you.


Driving on a flat tire can be tempting, especially if you’re in a hurry or just want to get to a service station. But as we’ve seen, the risks far outweigh any potential convenience. If you ever find yourself with a flat tire, remember to prioritize safety. Pull over, turn on your hazard lights, and call for professional help. And keep Bliss Towing Service’s number handy – 281-849-9991.

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