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How can I Drive Safely on a Spare Tire?

spare tire

There are several important lessons to learn before becoming a safe and responsible driver.  Some of these lessons include getting routine oil changes, checking tire pressures, and changing a tire.  Although many drivers may know how to replace a flat tire, knowing how to drive safely on the tire that replaces it may be more important. Knowing the limits of a spare tire can mean avoiding a car accident.

Modern vehicles have drastically improved with safety features, but some concessions have been made to save space.  Vehicles are no longer being made with full-size spare tires that matched what was equipped on the vehicle.  To significantly improve performance and gas mileage while also reducing weight, a modern car is now equipped with a smaller spare, a run-flat tire, or inflatable tire.

Because of the differences compared with a full-size, regular tire, it is important to remember that a spare tire is a temporary solution to an immediate problem.  Here are a few key lessons to keep in mind to drive safely on a spare:

  • Watch your speed. Smaller spare tires are not built like normal, full-size tires and should be treated differently. Speed is particularly important; most car manufacturers recommend to not travel faster than 50 mph because the spare tire simply cannot handle higher speeds for long periods and are at risk to blow out.
  • Limit miles. Car and tire manufacturers also recommend to never drive farther than 70 miles on a spare tire, although there may be some tires that differ. It is best to consult the owner’s manual, in which many safety specifications are found pertaining to the vehicle.
  • Find a replacement. A spare tire is meant to help the driver get to a safe area and find a suitable replacement for the flat tire. Spare tires have less tread than a full-size tire, are less durable, and cannot handle a full-time load nearly as well, so it is best to find a shop that can replace the flat tire immediately if it cannot be repaired.
  • Be aware of safety features. Many of the safety features in a modern car are now computerized. There are many modules in the car that communicate with each other, such as wheel speed sensors that measure how fast the tires are rotating.  When a spare tire is on, different warning lights may pop up as well as error codes in the vehicle’s central processing unit (CPU), which may alarm the driver.
  • Properly maintain a spare. It is always a good idea to have the spare tire’s tread depth and air pressure checked during routine oil changes. Additionally, even is a spare tire is not used, it is still prone to wear, as over time, rubber will begin to dry-rot, causing the tire to split and disintegrate.
  • Consider run-flat tires. To reduce weight and costs, more car manufacturers are utilizing run-flat tires. These smaller types of tires can withstand small punctures caused by nails or other hazards.  Like traditional spare tires, run-flat tires are also temporary but can only be driven on for reduced mileage.

Traditionally, cars did come with full-size spare tires, which were similar, if not the same, as the four tires that are originally equipped.  In fact, larger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks may have a full-size tire as their spare, simply because a smaller tire cannot handle their weight.  Even still, driving around without a spare tire available is not recommended and could spell disaster for the driver.

Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Those Involved in Accidents

Even with all the safety features and driver-assist equipment available in the modern vehicle, it is still difficult to prevent a flat tire from happening.  A blown-out tire at the wrong time can likely lead to an accident, so it is always best to be prepared.  If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another driver, you deserve to be compensated for the damages you sustain.  The experienced Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm will build your case the right way and get the compensation you rightfully deserve.  Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. With an office in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we assist accident victims in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, Woodbury, and across South Jersey.