Having your tire blow out on the highway can be a frustrating and scary experience, especially if you're on a tight schedule or if there's a lot of traffic on the road. Sometimes it's caused by objects in the road that puncture your tires and cause them to go flat, but it can also be caused by faulty tire construction that causes your tire to slowly unravel from your wheel. Here's what to do when your tire blows out on the highway in order to keep yourself and other motorists on the road safe.
Gently Guide Your Car to the Shoulder of the Highway
The most important thing is to not panic — you need to gently guide your car to the shoulder, but suddenly cutting across lanes of traffic in order to do so can cause a major accident. Take your foot off of the accelerator to improve your control over your vehicle when you have a blown tire. Use your turn signals to maneuver your car as far into the shoulder of the highway as possible. If it can't be done safely, then stay in your current lane and turn on your emergency blinkers. If you're in a live lane of traffic, call 911 immediately to have emergency services block the lane behind you.
Only attempt to change a tire on your own if the blown tire is on the passenger side of the vehicle and you are in a wide shoulder. Highway drivers tend to zone out, especially if they have been driving for a while — they may not even notice you changing your tire on the shoulder of the road. This makes changing a tire on the driver's side a risky procedure.
Inform Highway Patrol of Your Breakdown for Everyone's Safety
Even if you're safely in a wide shoulder, highway patrol needs to be informed that you've broken down on the side of the highway. Some highways have periodic call boxes you can use to call them. You can also use your cellphone to look up their number and call them with your cellphone. Don't rely on waiting for a highway patrol car to drive down the highway and notice that you have broken down. Highway patrol will assess the safety of the situation and block traffic if necessary to keep you and other motorists safe.
Call a 24 Hour Emergency Towing Service to Avoid Impound Fees
You'll need to call a towing company with 24-hour roadside service to have your vehicle moved the highway. Don't call friends or family to drive you home and leave your vehicle on the shoulder. If you do, highway patrol will tow your vehicle away for you, since an abandoned vehicle on the shoulder is a hazard to other motorists on the road. You'll have to pay the towing and impound fees to get your car back and then pay to have your car towed to a mechanic.
If your car breaks down on the highway during the day, call local mechanic shops to see who can fit you into the schedule immediately. You'll want to have your car towed directly there. If your car breaks down in the middle of the night, either have your car towed to your home or a nearby hotel where you can spend the night. You'll have to have your car towed to the mechanic afterward, but you at least avoid impound fees.
It's important to call a towing company to have your car towed to a mechanic instead of attempting to drive there yourself on a flat tire. Driving on a flat tire in traffic is unsafe and it can cause major damage to the wheel, suspension system and even knock the axle out of alignment. If you experience a flat tire on the highway, have your car towed to prevent damage to your vehicle. Visit a site like http://www.bigdtowing.com/ for more help.