Can you drive on a flat tire?

You can end up with a flat tire for many reasons, such as sharp objects on the road, improper tire maintenance, or damage to tire structure. To avoid further damage, it's important to know what to do in case of a flat tire.

How far can you drive on a flat tire?

If you experience a flat tire, you should drive only as long as it takes to find the nearest safe place to stop and pull over.

A flat tire significantly decreases the vehicle’s handling, which makes driving potentially dangerous. Driving on a flat tire can permanently damage the tire, making it impossible to repair. It can also cause damage to your rims and your vehicle’s structure.

Nokian Tyres has developed the special Flat Run Technology (FRT), which allows you to drive on a flat tire even without air pressure in it. You can drive on a flat tire with Nokian Tyres’ run-flat tires as follows:

  • Approximately 30 miles (50 km) when your vehicle is fully loaded
  • Approximately 90 miles (150 km) when your vehicle is carrying only the driver
  • The recommended maximum speed in dry road conditions is 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • The recommended maximum speed under slippery conditions is 30 mph (50 km/h)

Nokian Tyres Flat Run Tire Technology Sidewall Marking Logo
Nokian Tyres Flat Run Tire Technology logo.

Causes of a flat tire

When you know what can cause a flat tire, it is easier to prevent it from happening. The most common causes for a flat tire include:

  • Punctures. Driving over sharp objects, such as pieces of glass or nails, can perforate a tire, letting the air escape. Nokian Tyres’s products with the Aramid technology are reinforced with puncture-resistant Aramid fibers, providing ultimate tire protection.
  • Potholes and curbs. Running over potholes or curbs at high speeds can damage the tire. This can lead to a tire blowout.
  • Leak in a valve stem. The valve stem is a part of the rim which allows you to control tire pressure. A leak in it can slowly empty the tire.
  • Low tire pressure. Underinflated tires wear down more quickly, making tires more vulnerable to damage. Maintaining proper tire pressure helps prevent tire failure.

Your tires may get damaged unexpectedly, even when driving cautiously. Always keep a sufficient following distance, considering the weather’s impact on braking distance. Increase the following distance for safe driving during the cold winter months. If you experience a flat tire, try to maintain control of your vehicle, safely pull over, and call roadside assistance.

Maintaining proper tire pressure helps prevent flat tires

Replace worn tires

Your tire can still be saved if the damage is not too great to repair. You can ask your local Nokian Tyres dealer for advice. If the damage is on the tire sidewall, it cannot be fixed, and you have to replace the tire.

Check your tires regularly, maintain them correctly, and replace worn tires. This extends the service life of your tires and helps to avoid road hazards, such as flat tires, hydroplaning, and tire blowouts.


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