Flat tires never happen at a convenient time. You will be dressed up and ready to get to your office or appointment on time when you hit that errant nail. Getting a flat tire on a busy road or highway can be challenging. With cars driving at high speeds, you should make sure that you are safe at all costs. How do you change your flat tire safely and get back on the road? Read on to find out.
Choose a suitable location
Whether you are on an eight-lane highway or a two-lane blacktop, the location you decide to stop for a tire change is essential for your safety. If you are on a freeway with an exit nearby, drive with the flat tire to that exit. If not, get to the furthest lane. Stopping in the middle of traffic can be dangerous. If you are not on the highway, choose a spot that's far away from the road as possible.
Park on level ground
The process of changing a flat tire involves jacking up the car. If you are on a sloppy ground, the jack may slip. Worse still, the car could roll backward or down an incline, and if you are on a busy highway, you could end up hitting other vehicles. Ensure that the ground you choose is level and sturdy so that the jack can effectively lift and bear the weight of the vehicle without mishaps.
Mark off the area
Marking off the area as an emergency zone both during the day and night is crucial for your safety. Even if you are on the side of the road, accidents can happen if oncoming drivers are unaware of what's going on. Use flares or reflective triangles to give a long range of warning to other drivers. Also, turn on your car's four-way flashers.
Set your parking brake to prevent the vehicle from moving once the flat tire has been removed. Also, ensure that the car doors are closed, especially those on the side of the road. When bending to change the tire, ensure that you are safe from being hit by oncoming traffic. If you are still on the highway, use the flares or reflective triangles to mark off enough space for you to work. Always be aware of heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and trailers which create suction in their wake as they move and can throw you off your feet.
You may find that you don't have all the essential tools in your toolbox to change your tire. The most suitable option is to call your roadside assistance company to come to your aid. Explain the problem so that you can get the tire fixed on the spot without towing your car.