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Is It Safe to Change a Flat Tire on the Side of the Road?

September 29, 2014
Colson Hicks Eidson

There is rarely, if ever, a convenient time or place to change a flat tire. This is especially true if the tire goes flat while you are on an interstate.

The last thing you want to happen while you are driving on a road with speed limits ranging from 55 to 85 mph and no sidewalk, is to be forced to pull over, exit your vehicle and become a pedestrian. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, per trip, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle occupants to die in a car accident.

Julio Martinez, the former mayor of Hialeah, was seriously injured when he was involved in a wreck while helping a friend change a tire on Interstate 95. According to WBFS-TV, the driver of a black Honda Accord lost control of his car, hit Martinez’s friend’s Dodge Ram, which then hit Martinez’s red Mercedes.

“Suddenly, this car came, probably a hundred miles per hour, and hit us in the emergency lane,” Martinez’s friend told CBS 4. “We both go flying in the air.”

Martinez was between the Ram and the Mercedes at the time of the collision. He was thrown several feet away onto the pavement as a result of the crash.

After the wreck, Martinez was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was listed in critical condition and had to undergo multiple surgeries in the days following the incident.

CBS 4 learned a witness at the scene reported that prior to the crash, the Honda had been weaving in and out of traffic lanes.

How Do I Change a Flat Tire?

If it is safe and you are willing and able, here are some tips for changing a flat tire:

  • Make sure you and your vehicle are always completely off the road.
  • Remember to never get under the vehicle while it is jacked up.
  • Retrieve the spare tire, jack and tire iron from the trunk.
  • Loosen the lug nuts using the tire iron before you jack up the vehicle.
  • Jack up the vehicle.
  • Finish unscrewing the lug nuts by hand, remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare tire.
  • Screw on the lug nuts by hand, lower the car and tighten the lug nuts using the tire iron.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys