The loud noise coming from outside your car breaks the silence as you drive down a deserted mountain road. You panic as you lose control of the vehicle. After a few seconds you realize what has just happened – your tire has blown out.
Some students at California Baptist University said they have no idea what they would do in a similar situation.
“If my tire blew out in the middle of a highway I would freak out,” said Sarah Kelly, junior health science major. “I have no idea how to change a tire.”
Michael Naccarato, car enthusiast and sophomore graphic design major, knew what to do when he had experienced this exact scenario last winter during a late-night drive home from a weekend in the mountains.
“I was more startled than scared,” Naccarato said. “After I realized what had happened, I tried to regain control of my car as soon as possible and I pulled over as quickly as I could. Luckily, I was pretty much down the mountain so there was barely any snow on the road.”
Naccarto said a driver can become a risk to themselves and others when they do not know how to properly perform emergency maintainance.
After pulling over to a safe location and turning on the hazard lights, a driver can begin making the necessary adjustments to his or her car.
There are many steps that a driver needs to be familiar with in order to change a tire.
Remove the lug nuts with a wrench and place them on a flat surface so they will not roll away.
Find a sturdy place under the car to place the jack and lift the tire a few inches off the ground. After the lug nuts are removed, pull off the tire and replace it with a spare.
Once the spare is on, replace the lug nuts, but do not tighten them until after the car is lowered. Make sure the tire is securely fastened before driving anywhere.
“Every car is different,” Naccarato said. “I don’t recommend someone who is not familiar with the car to do this on their own because it could be dangerous. They should call AAA.”