Before You Get A Flat Tire On The Road…
By: Mary McDonnell, RN • Posted on May 06, 2013
I recently experienced a flat tire and a dead battery, and I want to make sure you and your loved ones are ready if something should happen to your car while you're driving to work or driving anywhere. Below are some of my tips on how to stay safe if you have a flat tire or any other car emergency.
1. Remain calm. If you hear or suspect something just happened to your car or your car tells you something is wrong.
I felt or heard something while driving 60 miles an hour on the freeway to work. My car told me I had, ‘low pressure in tire’ (FLAT TIRE)! I firmly grabbed the steering wheel, put my blinker on, merged to the right lane VERY CAREFULLY and pulled off the freeway and tried to find a flat, well-lit area. I then locked the car doors.
2. Know your emergency information.
- Put your emergency flashers or hazard lights on, which I would recommend finding these before you have an emergency. Mine were in the middle of the dash, not in front of the driver dash, and had a red triangle symbol.
- Try to keep your car running if you can.
- Get your emergency number out for Roadside Assistance and call to tell them where you are. Hopefully, you have this number handy and can let them know where your car is located.
- Call your significant other or someone to let them know what happened and where you are.
- If you don’t have a cell phone or emergency number, hang a white cloth (preferably) or paper out the window. The cloth or paper alerts other drivers that you need help and to proceed around you. And hopefully, a highway patrol will be along soon to help you.
3. Be careful. Be very cautious letting people help you. Most are kind and good, but unfortunately there are some people that are dangerous!
If you are in a safe place away from traffic and you can change the tire yourself, go ahead if you are skilled. Good luck with those lug nuts as they are tight! After the tire is fixed, try to start your car and make sure the person that helped is still around just in case your battery is dead. If everything seems safe, slowly merge back into traffic with your blinkers on.
If you have one of those small donut tires, you can only drive 40 miles an hour. Drive to your mechanic or a gas station and have the tire repaired if possible or purchase a new tire. Do not forget to get the donut tire back, just in case you get another flat. This is also a good time to have your tires balanced, rotated and checked.
Please prepare yourself for having a flat tire by following these tips:
- Know where all of your emergency tools, flashers and emergency numbers are.
- Keep these in your car in case of an emergency and know how to use them:
- medical kit
- hand wash
- jumper cables
- rain gear
And remember to stay calm. I hope these tips help, if you happen to find yourself in a similar situation. God bless.
Be Strong, Be Healthy, and Be in Charge!
- Mary McDonnell, RN - your fellow Ask Nurse Mary