Changing a tyre safely next to the road

PHOTO: Arrive Alive

The most important consideration is safety awareness with regards to your location and the threats posed by traffic around you.

According to Arrive Alive, there are hundreds of people killed each year while changing a tyre on the side of the road and when you get a flat tyre, it’s normally at the most inconvenient time and place possible. You could be in the dark, in the rain, or on the side of the highway.

Arrive Alive gives the following tips to consider when changing a tyre safely next to the road:

1. Be aware of your surroundings.
2. Find a safe place to pull over – this should be a flat, stable and safe place to change your tyre.
3. If you’re on a busy road, be particularly wary of vehicles driving by that might get too close.
4. Get as far off the road as possible – the further you can move away safely, the better.
5. Do not park the car where you leave yourself exposed to passing traffic while working.
6. Don’t try to change a wheel on soft, lose or uneven ground.
7. You need a solid, level surface that will restrict the car from rolling or collapsing off the jack.
8. Don’t attempt to change your tyre on a hill – the car may roll and visibility of other road users may be restricted.
9. Don’t park in the middle of a curve, where approaching cars can’t see you.
10. Shut off your engine and engage the parking brake.
11. Put the car into “Park” position – if you have a standard transmission, put your vehicle in first or reverse.
12. Turn on your emergency flashers (hazard lights).
13. Don’t try to change a wheel with adult passengers still in the car.
14. Move everyone to a place of safety, well away from the vehicle and road surface. Be careful of small children running around out of sight. (They may need to be kept buckled in within the car.)
15. Secure the keys to your car safely in your pocket.
16. Place the emergency warning triangle or traffic cone at a safe distance behind your vehicle to warn approaching vehicles of your presence at roadside.
17. Don’t step out onto the road. If it’s dark, you’re unsure if you can change it yourself, or you’re a female travelling alone – it might be a good idea to call for roadside assistance anyway.

Compiled by Justine Fortuin