Road Rules 101 (intern edition): Tips for dealing with a flat tire

Tuesday, July 16, 2019by  Hannah Ratzke

Our True North(west) road trip is in full swing as we're busy traveling across the Northwest to connect with like-minded businesses! On our latest trip, we encountered an unfortunate, but realistic bump in the road.

Just our luck … the tire pressure light came on in the car.

Fiona and I began circling the car and checking the tires. Everything looked great but then we noticed the culprit: a huge nail stuck in one of the tires. Although stressed (neither of us had dealt with a flat tire before), I think we handled the situation well. Here are the key takeaways if you ever find yourself in this pickle:

  1. Pull over. Pull over to a safe location and turn your hazards on to make yourself known. Get as far to the side of the road as you can. It's important to give yourself extra space so you don't risk putting yourself in danger to get hit by passing vehicles. If you keep a roadside safety kit in your car (like we do) you can typically find small cones to place around your vehicle. This step helps give other drivers more warning as they approach you.
  2. Stay calm. It could be a lot worse. How many times have you seen someone pulled over on the side of the road with a flat? It's a common occurrence and not the end of the world!
  3. Plan. If you feel comfortable changing the tire yourself and have the proper tools to do so, then that could be the best way to hold you over until you're able to take your car in for proper inspection. If you're like me, and don't know even the slightest about changing a tire, call someone who can help advise you on what to do.
  4. Take your car to the nearest repair shop. If it's safe to drive, drive your vehicle to the nearest car repair shop. If your vehicle is not drivable, call a tow company to help you get your car to where it needs to be. We took our car to the nearest Firestone and waited a few hours for the repair to get handled. Everything went smoothly once we got it to the shop!

I hope you never have to experience this, but these tips can be beneficial to have in the back of your head. This was the first time I've had to deal with car troubles while driving. It was a great learning experience to show myself I know exactly what to do in the case of a flat tire. Next step: learn how to change a tire myself!

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