How Far Can You Drive On A Flat Tire? [The Answer]

Most of us do not plan regular servicing and repairs of our cars as we don’t anticipate emergencies. We don’t realize that an accident or malfunction in our vehicle may happen anywhere, and it may also put our safety in jeopardy.

If you can see the car tire pressure sensor showing precariously low pressure in the tire or there is a sudden flat tire, then it is not advisable to drive far with that flat tire. 

What Are A Flat Tire And Its Causes?

A tire may be deflated due to many reasons, and when the air pressure is very low or almost nil, it is called a flat tire. It is one of the dreaded situations for drivers, yet it may catch us unexpectedly. 

You may have a couple of cars, and one may not be used for some time or if you don’t use your vehicle for any other reason and keep it parked in one palace for long. The tire may deflate after some days without use. 

You can check if your car tires are damaged by examining the tires and looking for any kind of wear and tear signs. They start losing air pressure sooner than before. Puncture in the tire is one of the most well-known reasons for a flat tire.

Any sharp or hard object may lead to a puncture in the tire. It may remain embedded outside too for some days until it reaches the inner layers, and then the flat tire may happen at any time.  

How Far Can You Drive On A Flat Tire? 

The car can be driven for a long time after a flat tire. It can last for many thousands of miles. However, the punctured tire, unless it is a run-flat tire, is usually destroyed within a matter of meters. Run-flat tires are safe up to 50 miles. So you can drive 50 miles at a maximum of 50 mph with a flat tire.

The most important advice is not to drive on a flat tire. But you can drive until you reach a safe place at a very slow speed and protect against further damage to the tire and rim.

As soon as you notice the flat, then you must slow down immediately. Otherwise, the car may skid or swerve due to misalignment in the tires. Be very careful on the slopes and maintain a slow speed until you reach a safe space. 

It is advisable to be on a smooth road as much as possible. Stones and rough patches will lead to dents on the rim and an imbalance between the tires. You can drive for a mile or even a few more, but the lowest possible speed and steadiness must be maintained.

Speeding or swerving will lead to more damage to the tire. The mechanics usually advise not to drive far on a flat tire. But if it is the only option, you cannot help it. 

Run-flat-tire and Non-run-flat tires

With modern technology in every sphere now, we also have run-flat tires. These tires have unique designs that can resist the effects of punctures and less air in the tire.

These are increasingly being used more as people realize they can drive with these tires for a long-distance despite a flat. The safety aspect and convenience are essential for everyone. On the other hand, you cannot drive that far with non-run-flat tires. 

Why Is It Not Good To Drive Far On A Flat Tire?

Everyone has experienced a flat tire sometime in their life. Driving slow would be best as you can reach your destination safely.

The fact remains that the rubber tires’ inner parts are softer than the exterior and hence may get damaged apart from the rim. The rim may bend out of shape, and the tire sensors may be damaged. 

Stop As Soon As You Can 

Take care not to stop immediately as you may be in the middle of the road and may cause an accident. Slow down and change the lane to the slowest one. Once you stop the car safely, get out and inspect the damage.

People usually carry a spare tire and an air pump for such a situation. You can replace the tire with a Stepney. You might have to inflate the spare tire if it is inside for a long time.

If you don’t have a spare tire or don’t know how to change tires, then you can try to reach the nearest service station. Remember to maintain the speed below 20 miles per hour. They can help you in minutes. The other option that you might opt for is calling any help service center which might be a costly affair.

Important Points To Remember 

Some tires remain in good condition even after driving with no air, but it is a good idea to remember –

  1. You must always keep a spare tire ready to replace the flat one. In addition, all the required devices and tools like the jack and the screwdrivers and wrench, etc., must be in the car toolkit.
  2. Check the tire pressure frequently. Do not ignore the tire pressure sensor warning.
  3. Check the outer surface for signs of damage or puncture. This can be done when you take the car for servicing, or even you can check it before taking the car out. 
  4. Keep a portable air pressure machine in the boot for such situations. 
  5. Regular servicing and maintenance are critical as the tire pressure sensor should be in working condition. 
  6. The service center will also realign the tires and turn them off if needed.
  7.  If you cannot reach the service center, you may have to leave the car overnight for help to arrive. This is also very damaging for the deflated tire. The pressure of the car is a lot to bear on the deflated tire and its rim. 

Conclusion – Can You Drive On A Flat Tire?

Facing emergencies and small repairs while driving can be a daunting thought. You must be prepared to tackle situations like small repairs and a flat tire. It is not advisable to drive very far on a flat tire. It is usually made of rubber, rayon fibers, steel rims and is sturdy enough to carry the weight of a car and passengers.

But in an unavoidable situation, you can drive the car on a flat tire for a short distance at a very low speed preventing further damage to the rubber and rim. Drive safe.

Liam Dare

As CEO of, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.