A punctured tire turns into a flat tire very quickly, especially while driving down the road. Since there is nothing holding the air in the tire, it leaks out causing a flat tire. It is not safe to drive on a punctured or flat tire because it can cause a blowout or a car accident. When a tire is flat, the vehicle will pull to that side, making it hard to control. This is potentially hazardous to yourself and the drivers around you. If you have a punctured tire, it is best to pull over and assess the damage.
Here are some things to look for if you feel like you might have a punctured tire:
The most common cause of a punctured tire is a sharp object that was picked up while driving down the road. This object could be a nail, screw, or even a small rock. Once it punctures the tire, the tire will deflate either slowly or quickly depending on the size of the hole.
A punctured tire can be recognized by a loud noise, the vehicle pulling to the left or right, or the steering wheel shaking uncontrollably. If you experience any of this, pull over right away and see what is happening. Driving longer on a punctured tire can damage the rims, making for an even more extensive repair.
Once you notice you have a punctured tire, pull over in a safe area. Whether this is on the side of the highway or in a well-lit parking lot, it is important that you are out of the lanes of traffic so as not to cause a collision. If you have a roadside tire repair kit you know how to use, it can be applied it the puncture is small enough. If you do not have this, call a mechanic so you can have them apply a plug or change your tire if need be. This will be a temporary fix until the puncture is repaired or the tire is replaced at the tire store. Additionally, may need to have a spare tire installed, if the puncture is too large for a plug.
Driving with a punctured tire is extremely dangerous as you can lose control and cause an accident. This can injure yourself and those around you, as well as potentially cause a fatal accident. Once you experience a puncture, leaking, or flat tire, pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible. Punctures can be small, so it is best to have your tire looked at by a tire specialist.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Punctured Tire? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.