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A flat tire can be one of the most annoying and inconvenient obstacles for a driver to have to overcome. While there’s never really a good time for a flat, driving through town or even down the freeway with a punctured tire is one of the most irksome situations to find yourself in. In fact, driving on a flat at cruising speeds on a highway can be especially dangerous if drivers respond poorly. 

While certainly a major concern, a flat tire doesn’t have to be a total car catastrophe. Here’s what you should do if it happens to you. 

How To Handle a Flat Tire While Driving

Identify the flat

You may not always realize right away that you’ve got a flat tire. While puncture damage, such as running over a nail, tends to announce itself a bit more aggressively, sometimes a flat can be caused by a slow leak or a damaged valve stem. In such cases, there may not be an immediate telltale.

Your car does a good job of telling you something’s wrong, but it helps to know what to look for. If you notice that you’re having difficulty accelerating, or feel like you’re driving with the parking break on, there’s a good chance a tire may be flat. Difficulty maintaining speed can be another sign, as can your car pulling to one side, generally toward the direction of the flat. 

Get off the road

Driving with a flat is not a good idea for you or your car. You may be tempted to finish your trip home or to a gas station and fix the problem then, but if you do, you not only compromise your car’s ability to handle and brake, but you also risk dealing more serious damage to the wheel itself. As soon as you notice you have a flat, you should make an effort to get off the road as quickly as you can, but try to do so as calmly and safely as possible. 

Don’t slam on the brakes or jerk the wheel — you could lose control of the vehicle. Instead, slowly guide your car toward the breakdown lane or shoulder of the road, easing up on the gas slowly but steadily until you come to a complete stop.

Get Tire Service at Your Local Tire Center

If you experience a flat tire or any other problems with your vehicle, make an appointment with your local car care center. For help finding a car, get in touch with us at NJ State Auto Auction where we have a broad inventory of pre-owned vehicles in Jersey City, NJ.