A flat tire (British English: flat tyre) is a deflated pneumatic tire, which can cause the rim of the wheel to ride on the tire tread or the ground potentially resulting in loss of control of the vehicle or irreparable damage to the tire. The most common cause of a flat tire is puncturing of the tire by a sharp object, such as a nail, letting air escape. Depending on the size of the puncture, the tire may deflate slowly or rapidly.
Besides puncturing of the tire a flat can be caused by: failure of or damage to the valve stem; rubbing of the tire against the road, ripping the tire, or separation of tire and rim by collision with another object; excessive wear of the tire tread allowing explosive tire failure or allowing road debris to tear through it.
Some tires, particularly those with a slow leak, can be repaired and re-inflated; others, especially those with worn tread, must be replaced.
A survey I carried out recently revealed that The trend of driving with flat tyre” prior to repair” is most common to “Lagos Commercial drivers”.
When consulted, many explained that “the inability to locate the nearest vulcanizer road-shop and for the fact that they might not be willing to wait due to being in a haste”.
HAZARD ATTACHED TO DRIVING WITH AN INSTANT FLAT TYRE
Where a flat tire occurs, motorists are advised to slow gradually and pull off the road. Continuing to drive may damage the wheel, the hub or other parts of the vehicle. Driving with a flat tire, especially at high speeds, may result in a loss of control and an accident.
On a bicycle, a flat tire will compromise handling, as well as increasing rolling resistance.