Tips to help you deal with a flat tyre or blowout in Queensland
In October 2018, the RACQ released figures showing where you are most likely to get a flat tyre in Queensland. The Gold Coast came out as top, but many of Brisbane’s suburbs fared poorly too. If you live or drive in the following suburbs, you best take extra care to avoid a flat when driving:
- Eight Mile Plains
- Brisbane CBD
What causes a flat tyre?
There are two main causes of flat tyres: underinflation and tyre blowout.
You should never drive on underinflated tyres. There are studies that show that a vehicle with one or more underinflated tyres is three times more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Make it a habit to check your tyres weekly, and keep them inflated to the recommended tyre pressure.
A blowout can be as scary as hell. It will take you by surprise, make your vehicle hard to handle, and put your life and others in danger. The major contributors to a tyre blowout are:
- Driving on underinflated tyres
- Tyres that are in poor condition
- Poor road conditions such as potholes and debris on the road
- Driving at excessive speed on poor roads
What are the dangers of driving on flat tyres?
Driving on flat tyres will decrease your safety on the road. It will make steering more difficult. Braking distances will increase. You are more likely to skid on slippery roads. And, of course, you are more likely to suffer a blowout on a poorly maintained road – and there are plenty of these in Brisbane and Queensland.
If your tyre is flat and you carry on driving, you’ll find that your vehicle pulls to one side. Driving in a straight line is harder to do. You’ll also damage the internal structure of the tyre. You could also damage your vehicle.
Driving on a flat tyre makes it more likely that you will crash, because of the effect it has on handling and braking. Checking and maintaining your tyre pressure is one of the easiest things to do to avoid killing someone on the road.
Let’s hope that you avoid killing a fellow road user because of your flat tyre. It doesn’t mean you won’t suffer. Driving on a flat tyre is likely to damage your vehicle’s components. You may need to pay out to replace or repair brake lines, suspension, wheels and calipers. And this is just the start. Driving on a poorly maintained flat tyre could cost thousands of dollars.
What should you do if you have a flat on the road?
If you suffer a flat tyre or blowout on the road, you should stop as soon as you can:
- Slow down to 20 or 30 Km/h
- Look for a safe place to stop
Depending on the damage to the tyre, it may be reparable. A small nail of screw could cause deflation with little damage. A blowout or gash is likely to damage the tyre beyond repair.
On a quiet road, you might change the tyre for the spare yourself. To do so, follow our instructions in our article “How to change a car tyre after a blowout”. However, we echo the recommendation of the RACQ: if you get a flat, pull over in a safe place and call a professional. The busier the road, the more dangerous it is to change a tyre. In fact, if the road is too busy, we’ll move the car to where it is safe to work on.
Driving on a flat tyre is dangerous and the damage it can cause to your vehicle can be expensive. Improper inflation, wear and tear, a tyre defect or small damage to the tyre will increase the likelihood of you suffering a flat. Driving on underinflated tyres on poor road surfaces – and driving at excessive speed – increases the chances of a blowout.
If you do suffer a flat tyre or a blowout while driving, pull over safely and call the professionals. It’s not worth risking your life to change the tyre yourself at the roadside.
Finally, prevention is always better than cure. The best way to avoid a flat tyre is to monitor your tyres. Check them weekly. Keep them inflated to the correct, recommended pressure.
If you spot any tyre damage (nicks, cuts, grazes, bulges, nails or screws in the tread, etc.), seek the help of a professional. Here in West Brisbane, bring your vehicle to our tyre shop. We also have a truck and commercial mobile service.
For all your tyre needs, contact Darra Tyres.
Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,