EUGENE, Ore. — Driving around Eugene these days “reminds me of scenes of out Road Warrior or something,” says Terry while saying: “I’m okay, the two truck will soon be here. Thanks for stopping, but I don’t have a spare tire.”
While other Eugene drivers also wanted to help Terry and his disabled car, it seems that new cars no longer feature a spare tire in the boot where’s its been since the days of Ford and other popular American-made cars.
Car tire blow outs happening more, while new cars don’t have a spare tire
Katie felt a whisper of terror run through her as one of her tires blew-out while negotiating a tight curve along the famed Pacific Coast Highway along the nearby central Oregon coast recently; meanwhile, Katie said “I had the screaming meemies” as my car plunged into a ditch near an overhang,” and then she discovered her new car had no spare tire.
More than 13 million vehicles sold in the United States in May 2011 “did not come with a spare tire,” reported AAA’s September Via magazine, while quoting a Los Angeles Times report that “technical improvements have made flats less likely, and when they do occur, drivers increasingly rely on roadside assistance services to take care of the problem.”
In turn, Katie said she did not “really know what to do when her tire blew-out,” while AAA noted that “blowouts still cause more than 8,000 accidents each year,” and, thus, can ruin your end of summer vacation plans.
Katie learned that even new cars can have a tire blow-out
When Katie’s front tire had a blowout recently – during a pleasure cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway – she assumed that after the incident that “a good Samaritan would come by and help me change the tire.” Instead, Kate learned that her new Ford sedan had no spare.”
“My husband Carl got the car back in April and I just assumed it had a spare like our other one. Who knew that the area in the trunk where the spare tire should be is empty? Carl is keeping his fishing gear there,” this Baby Boomer discovered.
Still, her face betrayed a certain tension as she shared her tire blow-out tale with her card playing friends in Seal Rock, Oregon, where there’s been a rash of tires blowing out along a narrow stretch of Highway 101 that’s popular this time of year with holiday makers from all parts of the country who visit Oregon’s free beaches.
“There’s just too much traffic out there this time of year. And with Katie telling us about her tire trouble it makes one shriek that something like this happening with these new cars,” says Juliana who added that she just checked her new vehicle and also discovered “there’s no spare.”
Steps to take if you vehicle has a flat or breaks down
According to AAA’s September and October of it’s via magazine, drivers must take precautions in this day and age when strangers out on the roadways are a clear and present danger.
While Katie says “I was lucky some nut didn’t stop to help me when I got my flat tire, I was warned by my Carl not to even ask for help when alone in this day and age. It’s more than just scary to be alone on the road with a car that’s broken down.”
AAA advises that if you have a flat (and there’s no spare tire in the trunk), or if your car just breaks down, the best steps to take are:
— Get off the road and pull onto the right shoulder if you can, as far away from traffic as possible. Never try to push the vehicle out of the way.
— Get noticed by turning on hazard lights, raise the hood, and place a reflector 10 feet behind your car, and another sign about 100 feet back. Then call AAA or your auto club to help change your tire or sort out other car problems.
— Stay safe in your car if your car is safely off the road. Also, AAA advises to stay in your car with the seat belt fastened. If it is safer to leave the car, stay as far as you can from it and the road. Do not stand in front of or behind the vehicle, or between it and traffic.
Overall, it’s simply a good idea to “take precautions” after a tire blows out or other car trouble on the road. Find more resources for drivers at AAA.com/viasafety.