You’re stranded on the side of the highway with a flat tire, traffic whizzing by. This is a scary scenario, but if you’re prepared, you can easily fix your tire and be on your way in no time. Read on for six key steps to fixing a flat tire on the highway.

1. Stock Your Car

The first step starts long before your tire ever goes flat. Make sure that you have everything you need to change a flat in your car, so that you are able to do so when the need arises. Most cars come with a jack, spare tire, and lug wrench, but be sure you know how to access these items. You should also include safety equipment like cones or flashers in addition to the tools you need to change the flat.

2. Find a Safe Spot

While the highway is a dangerous place to pull over, some places are better than others if you’re changing a flat. Try to stop where there’s a wide shoulder and relatively flat ground. Make sure to have your hazards on and, if you have them, cones to let other drivers you are in trouble. This will help drivers notice you and keep you safe while calling for help or fixing your flat.

3. Pull Over Carefully

If you’ve had a blowout, it’s important to be careful when pulling over. Firmly grip your steering wheel and slow down gradually, getting into the rightmost lane as soon as it’s safe to do so. Rather than slamming on your brakes, take your foot off the gas and reduce speed.

4. Alert Other Drivers

After you stop, put on your hazards and place flares or reflectorized orange cones behind your vehicle so that other drivers can see you and pass safely. You should also raise your hood to signal to passing officers that you need assistance.

5. Change the Tire–If You Know How

If you are familiar with changing a tire, then you should do so once you feel certain that you’ll be safe if you get out of your vehicle. Make sure you have all the proper tools prior to engaging in this activity though. A good, sturdy car jack is a must for any emergency and a spare is obviously needed. If you don’t know how to change a tire, you are much safer inside your vehicle waiting for assistance. Most highway patrolmen are keen to situations like yours and will often stop to make sure everything goes smoothly.

6. Take the Car to a Mechanic

Spare tires are not meant to be driven on for long periods of time. As soon as you are able, visit your mechanic or call a Mike’s Auto Towing to help you get to a mechanic to get a new tire on your vehicle. If you think that your damaged tire can be repaired, make sure to have a professional do so before driving on the tire again.

Getting a blow out on the freeway is seriously scary but if handled correctly it can be a minor inconvenience. Don’t find yourself stranded and unprepared by not knowing how to handle the situation. By following these six steps, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe if you find yourself stranded on the highway and need to fix a flat tire.

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