A flat tire at night is one of every driver’s worst nightmare. That is not because it is irreparable but because of the associated risks. It can happen in a dark place or rightfully dangerous area, which increases the chances of getting robbed or attacked. But what should you do in such a situation?
The best thing is not to panic and act soberly. Pull over to a safe place by the road to avoid obstructing traffic and replace the flat tire with the spare one. Alternatively, you can contact the police or roadside assistance service.
A flat tire at night is not the end of the road. You can still triumph over this problem if you act accordingly. Continue reading this article for detailed information about what to do when you get a flat tire at night.
What To Do When You Get a Flat Tire at Night
A flat tire at night rarely happens if you take all the necessary measures before your trip. However, you might still experience it once or twice in your lifetime as a driver. So, what should you do? Consider the following:
Do Not Panic and Act Soberly
A flat tire at night can trigger an adrenaline rush in your body, especially if it is your first time experiencing it. This can cause unnecessary panic, which escalates the problem and makes it look worse than it actually is.
The first step is to remain calm and as collected as possible. A slow puncture will not throw you off balance, meaning it should not destabilize you. The situation may turn if there is a sudden blowout.
But whichever the situation, remain calm and slowly pull over to avoid obstructing the traffic. Also, turn your hazard lights on to let other road users know your situation.
Replace the Flat Tire
Replacing a flat tire at night can pose a serious challenge to most drivers. Do not let this deter you if you often do it in the daytime. Just assess the situation around you and get out of the car only if it is safe.
You are lucky if you have your spare tire ready, a jack, and a wheel spanner. These are all you need to change the flat tire, but a flashlight can go a long way since it is dark outside. Alternatively, you can use your phone to illuminate the trunk and as a light source.
Changing a flat tire at night should take just a few minutes if you have all the tools needed. But if you don’t, ask road users for help. Someone might be generous enough to come to your rescue.
Temporary Tire Repair
This can be your next alternative if you don’t have a spare tire. The problem is only in identifying the puncture location. Once spotted, you can use a plug to seal the hole.
However, this approach is only viable if you have a tire repair tool kit consisting of the plugs, insertion tool, reaming tool, and soapy water. Also, a flashlight to help you see in the dark.
Phone a Friend, Roadside Service, or Police
A flat tire at night can be downright dangerous. The faster you get help, the better for you and your passengers. This is when you should go through your contact list and find a friend nearby to help you. It might seem far-fetched, but it can be your only choice.
Alternatively, you can call the police or roadside service, giving them your location and responding to all their questions. A roadside service provider usually has all the tools, including a spare tire. The same applies to the police. You can get your car towed to safety or the flat tire repaired on the spot.
Stay Inside the Car
Sometimes you might not get the help you hope for in such a situation. That’s when you should resort to staying inside the car until dawn.
Lock yourself in the car but stay alert for any eventualities. It will keep you safe from attacks by wild animals if you are in the middle of the jungle. Unfortunately, locking yourself in the car may not deter aggressive robbers determined to take away your possessions.
Drive On a Flat Tire
This might sound unprofessional, and you might disagree with it, but it can be your best alternative. Driving on a flat tire may cause damage to the tire, rim, car’s suspension, and the road itself. These, however, do not compare to injuries or even death if you get a flat tire at night in a dangerous location.
Shift to a lower gear and drive to a safer place. This might be costly due to a damaged tire and rim, but these can be easily fixed. Find out how far you can drive on a flat tire!
How To Avoid Flat Tire at Night
You can minimize the risk of getting a flat tire at night by doing any of the following before and after your trip:
- Use the most appropriate wheel size and avoid overinflating the tires
- Remain within the recommended car loading to avoid putting more pressure on the wheels
- Check your wheels for any visible defects before your trip and repair or replace them as appropriate.
- Drive safely and avoid hitting potholes and curbs unnecessarily
- Choose the right tire type for the anticipated driving condition
- Do wheel alignment before the long trip
How long can a spare wheel last?
A spare wheel is rarely used and can last for many years. The actual lifespan depends on the usage and the brand. You can use it even a decade before replacement.
Will leaving a flat tire overnight damage the rim?
No. Your rim will remain intact when you leave the car overnight, provided you don’t drive the vehicle. However, driving your car on a flat tire will deform the rim or cause it to warp.
How do you know you have a flat tire?
A flat tire triggers many signs that will raise your suspicion. The car will start pulling to one side or start vibrating excessively. You might also hear a popping sound or an increased road noise.
Is it safe to change a flat tire at night?
Yes. You can safely change a flat tire at night, but only if it happens in a safe area. Otherwise, stepping out of the car at night in an unknown location is potentially dangerous. Assess the surroundings and use your handset to search for information related to the security of that area before opening the doors.
Can I continue to drive on a flat tire?
No. Driving on a flat tire, whether at night or daytime, is not encouraged. It will damage the tire and the rim, and you will also experience drivability issues. This can be dangerous to you and other road users. Resort to this only if it is your last option.
A flat tire at night is the worst experience no one wants to get. Unfortunately, it can still happen and leave you frustrated in the middle of nowhere. However, not all is lost. You can change the flat tire, call a friend, roadside assistance, or the police to help you.
Do not attempt to change a flat tire at night or fix it if you don’t have the technical ability or proper tools. This can put you in greater danger. Instead, call for professional help.