Although run-flat tire manufacturers have different limits, it is usually possible to drive up to 55 mph, although the lower, the better. Certified fitters recommend driving only a short distance, no more than 50 miles.
In 2017, the United States alone punctured 222.8 million pounds of tires. This means that in this country, on average, every person will have five or more punctures in their lifetime. To avoid getting a puncture, it is important to keep some knowledge about where and how you can get into those pesky flat tires., which could be problematic when you consider that 20% of U.S. drivers don’t know how to change a tire.
You can get a flat in the most inconvenient place, and it can take hours for assistance to arrive, leaving you with no choice but to drive to the nearest shop with a flat tire. However, experts advise against doing so because it can damage the tire and render it unusable.
If you absolutely must drive with a flat tire, make sure that the help is within a few meters and that you maintain a constant speed.
How Much Distance Can You Cover On A Flat Tire?
Rims gradually go flat or burst on the spot due to punctures or loose valves. In either case, you should get the tires back in service as soon as possible.
A flat tire is indicated by a PSI below 20. If your TPM displays a rapidly increasing PSI or if your tire has already blown out, take immediate action and adjust your driving style. When the pressure gets too high from the blow-out warning, it is best to pull over and let the car die soft. The only way to ensure that your tire survives this calamity is to drive no faster than 1.5 mph and no shorter than 20 mph.
How to Drive On a Flat Tire
The following is a step-by-step strategy for getting to the nearest service station quickly:
- Maintain a maximum speed of 15 to 20 mph; anything faster could be dangerous to you and your vehicle.
- Remember that the faster you drive, the faster your tires will wear out.
- Avoid potholes, damaged areas, and sloping surfaces as much as possible. Limiting your driving to parking lots, shoulders, and paved roads is a great idea.
- Driving in a straight line with few or no curves is recommended.
- Look for open spaces with little activity to safely exit traffic without putting yourself or others in danger.
Why Experts Don’t Recommend Driving On a Flat Tire
When driving on a flat tire, the tire puts extreme pressure on the tire, causing considerable damage to the tread compound. Here are some of the many reasons why driving on flat tires is a bad idea:
The Rims Get Damaged
When a tire has little or no pressure left, it can no longer support the weight of a moving vehicle, and the rims have to withstand the forces alone. As a result, driving on a flat tire can damage the edges, and you may have to replace them with the tire once you have completed your trip.
It’s Bad For the Car
Driving on a flat tire is also hazardous to your vehicle. Brake lines, suspension parts, fenders, and rotors can break.
It’s Dangerous For You
Above all, a defective tire can jeopardize the handling and control of the vehicle. In addition, deflected suspension and brake lines can lead to an accident.
You May End Up With an Unusable Tire
If you look in your tire manuals, you will find plenty of information from the manufacturer about what pressure to use and when to switch to a spare tire.
However, when driving on a flat tire, even a tiny puncture caused by road deterioration or rocks can be aggravated beyond repair if you push too hard.
How to Avoid Driving on a Flat Tire
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting a flat or blowing a tire:
Check Tire Pressure Monthly
Checking tire pressure regularly is an essential guideline for tire care. Thus, check the pressure of all your tires, including the spare, at least once a month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you must do this. Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive and can save you money on tire repairs in the future.
It’s possible that the TPMS system isn’t working correctly. Alert you to low tire pressure until one tire loses a large amount of air or until all tires are at the same level and visual inspection can be complex. Before they appear underinflated, many tires lose up to half their pressure.
Ideally, you should test the tire pressure to ensure they are at the manufacturer’s pressure recommendations. You can find this information in the owner’s manual or on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.
Inspect & Rotate Tires Regularly
Visually inspect and rotate your tires monthly, in addition to checking tire pressure. Tire rotation makes tires last longer by spreading the wear. You must do tire rotation every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Rotate tires every time you change the oil.
To be safe, tires should have a minimum tread depth of 3/32 inches and be free of cracks, sidewall bulges, and bubbles.
Don’t Surpass the Tire Load Limit.
Tires have a maximum load capacity and a maximum pressure marked on the sidewall in addition to the recommended pressure. Heavy loads stress tires, and exceeding their load limit can cause a blowout.
Watch for Road Hazards
The roads are full of potential tire hazards, potholes, nails, and shards of glass! Always scan the road ahead for potential driving difficulties. Potholes and heavy road debris can cause cuts and bulges in your tires, which can lead to a flat tire, significant tire damage, or vibration later on.
However, there are situations where the nearest safe space is the next exit ramp or other distant location.
Instead of stopping on a busy highway, driving slowly (no more than 20 mph) to a safe stopping place might be wiser. One concern is to save the flat tire from being fixed. Another is to keep the metal wheel on which you mount the tire.
I am an Automotive specialist. I graduated from Michigan with Bachelor in Automotive Engineering and Management. Also, I hold degrees in Electrical and Automation Engineering (BEng), Automatic and Industrial Electronic Engineering, and Automotive Technology. I have worked at General Motors Company for over five years as the Marketing Operations Production Coordinator. Now, I own my garage in Miami, Florida. I love cars and love to share everything about them with my readers. I am the founder of the Automotiveex blog, where I share everything about automotive, like car news, car mechanical issues, and anything else that comes up in my blog posts.