Summer is almost here, which means you're probably busy making your vacation plans. If any of your plans involve road trips, it's time to think about potential travel interruptions, such as flat tires. You never know when flat tires are going to occur while you're on the road. Here are four steps you should take to get you through your next flat tire.
Prepare Ahead of Time
If you're going to be taking any road trips this summer, be prepared for a flat tire. The preparation you take now could reduce the stress and increase your safety. The first thing you need to do is check your spare tire. If you have one of those one-use donut spares, purchase a new full-sized spare. This is particularly important if you're going to be taking cross-country road trips. Those one-use donuts are only good for a few miles. If you get a flat tire while a considerable distance away from the nearest repair shop, you need to know that your spare will be able to go the distance for you. It's also important that you carry a jack and an emergency supply of food and water in your car.
Get Off the Road
As soon as you know you've suffered a flat tire, you need to get off the road. If you're close to an off-ramp, head for that. The off-ramp will afford you some security as you take care of your flat tire. If there's a parking lot nearby, try to get there. That way, you have a flat surface to park on, plenty of lighting, and people nearby to provide assistance. If you're not near an off-ramp or a parking lot, pull as far off to the side of the road as you can. Be sure to aim for a flat surface. That way, you'll be out of traffic, and your car will be easier to lift on a jack.
Increase Your Visibility
Once you're off the road, you'll want to increase your visibility. Disabled cars aren't always easy to see, especially on crowded highways or at night. If you have flares in your emergency kit, place one or two behind your car. It's also a good idea to place your emergency deflector signs in places where motorists are likely to see them, such as behind your car or in your rear window. Once you've made your car more visible, get back inside and wait for help.
Call for Assistance
As soon as you've moved to the side of the road and made your car more visible, call for assistance. If you have a roadside assistance policy, call to request a towing service. Be sure to provide them with as much information as you can, such as nearby road signs or other identifiable information. If you are alone and you don't have a roadside service membership, call the local police department, using their non-emergency number. To make sure you're prepared for the next roadside emergency, contact your insurance company and add roadside coverage to your policy as soon as you get home.