How to Avoid a Car Accident while Changing a Tire in Florida Road or Highway


Changing a Tire on a Florida Road

Flat tires are one of the leading causes of car accidents in Florida. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation (NHTSA), there are 11,000 tire-related crashes every year. In 2016, tire malfunction was a contributor to 733 of total motor vehicle traffic fatalities and approx. In the year 2015, 19,000 people were injured in a motor vehicle crash due to tire malfunction.

It’s important to check your vehicle tires regularly. Below are tips to make sure your tires are in good condition:

  1. Tire Pressure: It’s important to regularly check your vehicles tire pressure and not to ignore the pressure indicators. High air pressure in the tire normally in summer as the heat expands the air in the tire can lead to a tire blowout, especially in Florida summer which is hot one needs to regularly check the tire pressure.
  2. Tire Rotation: Tire rotation helps in reducing the irregular wear of the tire and makes the tires last longer. The tire should be rotated every 6000 to 8000 miles or as suggested by the manufacturer.
  3. Tire Tread: Tire treads are the grips on the tires that help in maintaining the vehicle balance and avoid any slip or slide especially on wet roads. It’s important to regularly check tire treads while checking the tire pressure.

Per a survey conducted by CheapCarInsurance.net, out of 2,000 survey takers who are also car owners, approximately 60% of people can’t (or don’t know how to) change a flat tire. Changing a flat tire is one of the basics of owning a car. If one doesn’t know how to change a flat tire, it’s important to know what to do if you get a flat tire while driving down a Florida road or highway.

How to best deal with a flat tire and avoiding an accident?

The first thing you should do when you notice a flat tire is to slow down and maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel. Do not hit the brakes hard as you could possibly lose the control of the vehicle. Slowly take your foot off of the gas pedal and slowly press the brakes. Look around and be cognizant of the blind spots, and use your blinkers to move your vehicle slowly and steadily to the safety lanes or the shoulders to a safe spot. It is fine to drive a short distance on a flat tire. Remember your safety is more important.

Once the vehicle is stopped, turn on your blinkers and request help if needed. If you are a AAA member, you can request assistance with a flat tire by calling 800.222.4357. If you are not a AAA member (or don’t want to wait for their service), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), offers Road Rangers Service Patrol, which is a free (and often speedy) service provided by the FDOT to help anyone who is in an accident or needs help on the highway. For Road Ranger assistance, dial *347 (FHP). (http://www.fdot.gov/traffic/traf_incident/rrangers/rranger.shtm)

Once the road ranger arrives and its safe, then get out of the vehicle to begin the process of changing the tire. If you don’t know how to change the tire, the Florida Road Rangers will assist you. Per the Florida Road Rangers website, the Road Rangers are roving vehicles that patrol congested areas and high-incident locations of the Florida urban freeway and are equipped, at a minimum, with the following equipment to assist as needed:

  2 Ton Jacks                               5 Gallons of Sand
  Air Compressor                       Auto Fluids
  Booster Cables                        Cell Phones
  Fire Extinguishers                   First Aid Kits
  Flares                                        Flashing Arrow Board
  Public Address System          Radiator Water
  Reflective Cones                     Wood Blocks
  Basic repair tools

Below are safety tips that you should keep in your mind while waiting for someone or while changing the tires:

  • Don’t stand behind or next to your car, it’s safer to stay in your car.
  • Don’t attempt to change your tire if you are not sure what are you doing, it’s better to wait for help.
  • Always make sure you have a spare tire in your car to avoid any further inconvenience, such as towing to a local tire repair shop or mechanic.

If you are the victim or injured in a tire-related car accident, please call Tampa Auto Injury attorneys at Franco Law Group at (813) 873-0180 for a free consultation so that we can evaluate your car accident case.

References:

  1. Tires. (2018, February 28). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from http://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/tires
  2. 60 pc of Americans cant change a flat tire – but most can Google it. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/draft-60-percent-people-can-t-change-flat-tire-most-n655501
  3. Highway Hazards: How to Handle a Flat Tire and More on the Freeway. (2018, January 31). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from https://resqme.com/EN/2014/12/18/highway-hazards-how-to-handle-a-flat-tire-and-more-on-the-freeway/
  4. How Many Fatalities Are Caused by Flat Tires or Blowouts? (2014, September 11). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from http://williammcbride.com/many-fatalities-caused-flat-tires-blowouts/

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Christine Franco

About the Author

Owner of the Tampa firm of Franco Law Group PA, Ms. Franco received her B.A. from The University of South Florida and her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Ms. Franco practices primarily in the fields of personal injury, social security disability and has previously acted as the case law monitor for the News & 440 Report, providing updated case law summaries, specifically in the area of workers compensation, for five years. She was also editor of the News & 440 Report, and served for the Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Section as Secretary of the Executive Council.