What to Do If You Get a Flat Tire on the Side of the Road

Getting a flat tire is a common occurrence, but it can be a frustrating and stressful experience. If you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire, don’t panic. Here are a few things you can do to get back on the road safely and quickly.

Step 1: Pull Over to a Safe Location

The first thing you need to do is pull over to a safe location. This means finding a spot off the road where you won’t be a hazard to yourself or other drivers. If possible, pull over to the shoulder of the road. If you can’t pull over to the shoulder, pull over to the side of the road as far away from traffic as possible.

Once you’ve pulled over, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.

a close up of a tire on a car
Photo by Bernd 📷 Dittrich on Unsplash

Step 2: Assess the Situation

Once you’re in a safe location, take a few minutes to assess the situation. Check the tire to see if it’s completely flat or if it has just a slow leak. If the tire is completely flat, you’ll need to change it. If it has a slow leak, you may be able to drive to a tire shop or service station.

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If you’re going to change the tire yourself, you’ll need to get out your car’s spare tire and jack. If you don’t have a spare tire or jack, you’ll need to call for roadside assistance.

Step 3: Change the Tire

If you’re going to change the tire yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Put on your safety glasses and gloves.
  2. Engage the parking brake.
  3. Turn on the hazard lights.
  4. Block the wheels diagonally opposite the flat tire with wheel wedges.
  5. Use the jack to raise the car until the flat tire is off the ground.
  6. Remove the lug nuts and take off the flat tire.
  7. Put the spare tire on the car and tighten the lug nuts by hand.
  8. Lower the car and remove the jack.
  9. Tighten the lug nuts with a wrench.

Step 4: Dispose of the Flat Tire

Once you’ve changed the tire, you need to dispose of the flat tire properly. You can take it to a tire shop or service station, or you can recycle it at a designated tire recycling center.

Step 5: Get Back on the Road

Once you’ve disposed of the flat tire, you can get back on the road. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully until you reach a tire shop or service station.

Tips for Avoiding Flat Tires

There are a few things you can do to avoid getting a flat tire:

  • Check your tire pressure regularly. Underinflated tires are more likely to get flats.
  • Rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This helps to evenly distribute wear and tear and prevent flats.
  • Inspect your tires regularly for signs of wear and damage. If you notice any problems, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • Avoid driving over sharp objects, such as nails or screws.
  • Be aware of the weather conditions. If you’re driving in wet or icy conditions, slow down and be more careful.
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By following these tips, you can help to avoid getting a flat tire and stay safe on the road.


Getting a flat tire is a frustrating experience, but it’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to get back on the road safely. By following the tips in this article, you can avoid getting a flat tire and know what to do if you do.

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