What To Do If You Get A Flat Tire In The Snow
How to change a tire in winter is something that all drivers need to know, especially disabled parking permit holders. Cold weather driving can be more hazardous for many reasons, one of which is the increased possibility of getting a flat tire in snow.
Cold weather puts pressure on tires and makes getting a flat tire more likely, and a flat tire in winter can be a major inconvenience for a disabled permit holder. So it’s important that permit holders educate themselves about what to do to fix a flat in winter, and how to cope with a situation when fixing a flat is not possible.
Below, we’ll talk about exactly how to change a tire in winter, as well as detailing some ways that disabled drivers can keep themselves as safe as possible when traveling during the colder months of the year.
Flat Tires In Winter: Here’s Why They’re So Common
There are a few main reasons why flat tires are more common in cold, snowy weather…
Cold Air Reduces Tire Pressure
Tires will tend to lose air pressure when the weather gets colder. This is due to the air becoming denser as its temperature cools, resulting in less pressure inside the tire. This decreased air pressure inside your tires in winter can make them more vulnerable to going flat or being punctured. Keep an eye on your dashboard for warnings that your tire pressure is low. Also be sure to get your tire pressure checked at a garage every month in winter.
Roads Are Slippery in Winter
In many parts of the country, roads get very slippery in winter. Slippery roads can lead to flat tires, mainly by causing a driver to lose control and drive into or over obstacles that damage the tires and perhaps cause a flat.
Roads Can Be Less Well Maintained in Cold Weather
Although roads are often in the most urgent need of maintenance and repair in winter sometimes they’re actually less well maintained around this time of year. Hazardous, freezing, low-visibility conditions can make it impossible for road maintenance crews to access certain areas at certain times – especially during busy winter months when their resources and personnel numbers are most stretched. Less well-maintained roads can harbor hidden hazards such as potholes or debris that can cause flat tires.
Snow and Sleet Can Hide Obstacles and Reduce Visibility
It is all too easy to get a flat tire in snow conditions because snow can hide obstacles in the road. Sleet and frost, as well as grit laid down by maintenance crews, can have a similar effect. Hidden obstacles such as rocks, stones, roadkill, and even parts from other vehicles are an obvious hazard and very often cause flat tires.
How to Change a Tire in Winter
If you notice a flat tire while your vehicle is parked, do not attempt to drive on it. Nor should you try to patch the tire yourself; instead put on your spare tire and drive to the nearest garage.
To put on your spare tire: make sure the handbrake is applied and position your wheel chocks. Then loosen the wheel nuts, jack up the car, remove the wheel, put on the replacement wheel, and lower the car slightly. Finally, tighten the bolts, then lower the car fully and check the new tire’s pressure if you have a pressure gauge. If not, drive carefully to the nearest garage and have it checked there. As soon as possible, have your flat tire repaired.
If you get a flat tire while driving, immediately pull over safely as far into the edge of the road as you can, getting as far into the hard shoulder or roadside as possible. Turn on your hazard lights and place warning cones behind the vehicle if you have them. Wearing a high-visibility jacket is a good idea, too. Then you can put on your spare tire.
For some disabled drivers, doing these tasks alone will be impossible. These drivers should always travel with a companion who can assist or perform these tasks for them.
What If You Are Unable To Fix a Flat in Winter?
If it’s impossible for you to change a tire in snow, you will need to contact help – either AAA or rescue services. You should always have a fully charged phone with you, or a CB radio if you are traveling in particularly remote areas.
Disabled Parking Permit Holders: Be Mindful on the Roads
Disabled drivers are often less mobile than other drivers, so it is especially important that they are mindful while traveling on winter roads. Even a relatively small incident, such as a flat tire in snow, can be highly inconvenient for a disabled permit holder to deal with. It is important to keep your disabled parking permit valid and to keep your car well stocked with safety equipment when traveling during winter.
During the winter months, many disabled drivers have to take especially long journeys. So it is crucial that we arm ourselves with the knowledge of how to fix a flat tire in winter. Knowing how to change a tire in snow could prove incredibly convenient – or even end up being a life-saver!