Street Safe Teens: Tire Emergencies

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Hitting the road for the first time, without mom or dad, can be a really exciting moment for teen drivers. But it also makes it that much more important for them to know what to do if they experience car trouble on the road.

One of the most common tire problems is getting a flat tire.

"A flat tire can be quite frustrating and it can also be quite nerve-wracking, so it's important to remember to remain calm and slowly pull over to a safe place away from heavy traffic," said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist with AAA.

Once you've pulled over to a safe location on level ground and put your hazard lights on, you can set your parking brake then take a look at your car.

Most cars come equipped with everything you need to change a flat, so make sure to familiarize yourself with what and where everything is located in your vehicle.

"Look to see what's going on, then look for your spare tire, your jack, you should know where all that is prior to driving but you need to find out all that information first,” said Todd Archer, the Shop Manager at Bob’s Wheel Alignment.

To change a tire, first put wedges (wooden or metal) behind the wheels to make sure the car doesn’t roll away. Then take out a jack to lift up the car up just above the ground, then loosen the lug nuts by pressing down with the lug wrench and take them off.

Next, slide the tire off and get your spare out from your car and gently line the spare tire up with the lug bolts and tighten up the lug nuts to secure the spare tire in place on the car.

Using the jack, set the car down and put away your tools because you are good to go! Just don't forget to get the broken tire repaired.

"Have it repaired, don’t drive too long on that little donut spare, most of them have donut little small tires," said Archer.

The experts say being prepared and keeping up with car maintenance can help prevent you from having a tire emergency.

"They need to know how to check their fluids, they need to know all about their warning lights, they need to definitely know how to change a tire, that's a big must,” Arnette said.

"Well, you want to check your tire's tread and inflation once a month, that can really help with preventative maintenance and preventing some of those emergencies from happening,” Archer said.

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