When tires go off the road, it can be for a number of reasons. They can be off the road due to debris in the road, cars striking them or pulling them off, or simply because of a poor lane change.
When your tire goes onto the low shoulder or grassy area, you need to check your car for damage. If you do not see any damage, then you are in the clear!
Sometimes tires will go off the road due to a blowout. If this is the case, you will need to stop and change your tire before continuing. Make sure to call for assistance if you are unable to do so yourself.
When tires go off the road due to debris or being pulled off, it is important to check the surrounding area for what caused it. Is there something in the road that pulled your tire off? Is there something underneath your car that was pulled onto the low shoulder with your tire? These are questions that need to be answered.
Do not put the car in park
Once the car is in neutral, gently apply the gas until you reach a stable road or driveway. Once you are on a stable surface, you can put the car in park.
By pulling forward onto a stable surface, you will reduce the risk of getting your tires stuck in mud or grass which could damage your vehicle or cost money to fix.
When dealing with a flat tire, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. If someone is nervous or panicked, they may make poor decisions that could end up hurting them or their vehicle. Try to keep cool and think through your actions.
Roll down the window slightly
Once you have exited the vehicle, check the surrounding area for any hazards such as water, debris, or damaged roads. If you find water or debris, beware of possible flooding or sea creatures that may be in the water.
Check your surroundings to see if there is any damage to the road and if it is safe to walk on it. If you find damaged roads, do not attempt to cross them as they may be unstable.
Look for traffic and make sure that no one is coming before crossing any lanes of traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and what kind of vehicles may be around you.
Once you have determined the roadway is safe, return to your vehicle and proceed with checking the tires. Make sure all tires are securely attached and inflate if needed.
Look around you for oncoming traffic
If there is oncoming traffic, wait for a safe moment to reconnect your tire to the road. If there is no oncoming traffic, you may choose to move your vehicle off of the shoulder and back onto the road before reconnecting the tire.
If there is no possibility of safely returning your vehicle to the roadway, leave it where it is until help arrives. Do not attempt to exit the vehicle unless help arrives. In this situation, you are safe until help arrives so don’t worry!
Shoulders can sometimes be lower than the road surface which is why it is important to check if your tire has crossed over into the grass or dirt part of the shoulder. If it has, then reattach your wheel and proceed with calling for assistance.
Always check your tires and make sure they are properly inflated to ensure safety during this process.
Check your surroundings for hazards
After you have stopped your vehicle, it is important to check your surroundings for any potential hazards. You do not want to get back in the car until you are sure it is safe to do so.
If there is a large drop off near the tire, it may be safest to get out and walk to assist with changing the tire. If there are cars behind you, it may be best to have them pull up next to you so you can walk across and change the tire on the other side of the road.
If there are no hazards on either side of the road, then you can proceed with getting the spare tire and changing the flat. Make sure to lay down debris mats or bags under and around the new wheel to prevent slipping or damaging of items under the car.
Before tightening down any lug nuts, make sure that they are tight by checking with a torque wrench.
Make sure your brake lights are working properly
If your tire is off the road or if there is a large cut or tear in your tire, you will need to replace it. The best way to do this is at a service station with experienced professionals.
Many gas stations and some bigger box stores have portable tire changing stations. If you have a good jack and know how to use it, then that is also a good way to change your tire.
If you have a flat tire and need to evacuate, the best thing to do is put your spare on and head to the nearest service station to have them check it out. If the spare is damaged, then again, head to the nearest service station to have it checked and replaced.
Slowly move back onto the roadway
If you are in a situation where you must re-enter the roadway, make sure to do so slowly. If there is debris in the roadway, wait for someone to clear it before re-entering the road.
If your vehicle has a sensor that alerts you to faulty tires, it may pick up on the new tire and notify you of the issue. Check your vehicle’s settings to see if this is an option and turn it on if it is.
Making sure the tire is properly inflated will also help with moving back onto the roadway. If you find that your tire has lost pressure, check other tires to make sure they are not also low on pressure.
Once you have moved back onto the road, continue to monitor your vehicle for any other issues.
Call for help if you need it
If you find your tire off of the roadway and on a low or unstable shoulder, you can try to mount your tire back onto the car. If you cannot do this, then you need to have it professionally done.
Many people try to save money by doing it themselves, but mounting a tire is a tricky job and one mistake can lead to the tire leaking air or falling off the car.
The best thing to do is find a service station nearby and ask if they will check it for free. If they say no, then pay them to check it so that you know it is fixed properly.
If you cannot find a service station and need to fix it yourself, look up some how-tos on how to mount the tire back onto the car.
Check your tire pressure regularly
Checking your tire pressure is important for several reasons. First, it helps you avoid expensive repairs due to underinflated tires.
Tires that are underinflated will experience wear and tear more rapidly, which can lead to needing a new tire prematurely. More importantly, an underinflated tire can lead to damage to other parts of your vehicle- specifically the wheels and rims.
Second, it helps you avoid getting stuck in the middle of a roadway or highway due to underinflated tires. A simple way to check if your tires are adequately inflated is to do a pinch test.