Sometimes life throws a flat tire at you. For me, it happened two months ago during my morning commute. I was in full concert mode, per usual, and a little white car was tailgating my SUV. I switched lanes and suddenly heard a “POP” sound. Read on to find out what happened next and the helpful tips that I learned during my unfortunate ordeal.girl leaning against her car

Safety, safety, safety

After the initial shock and shouting all the words I could think of, I turned on my hazard lights and slowly pulled off on the nearest exit. Thankfully, there was a gas station right off the exit where I could park my car and wait for help. While I wouldn’t say I was a damsel in distress, I was irritated and still lacked the proper skills to change a tire (cue Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” here).

Evaluate the situation

First, I got out of my car and inspected my tire to determine whether it could be repaired or if I would need to replace it. Of course, the latter option was apparent. But no fear, I had a spare, which is a better option than a tire plug.

Who you gonna call?

I would be lying if I said this hasn’t happened more than once, (four times) and I view myself as a professional AAA caller. This time, it was going to take the company an hour to get to me and put on my spare tire. Fifteen minutes went by, and a gentleman approached my car. He politely asked if I had a jack because he could help put on my spare. I sadly shook my head and told him I did not have a car jack. Later, a “Fire and Rescue” truck stopped and offered to help. The gentleman insisted that “these newer cars” come fully loaded with a jack and spare tire. Thus, we went to the back of my car, and lo and behold, I had a jack inserted on the side of my spare tire!!

Moral of the story

Kids, read your cars’ manuals, period! Also, inspect every inch of them because you may find hidden gems. I purchased both my high school and college cars from Craigslist, and they were anything but new and fancy – but my SUV came with a jack!

So, how does this relate to college?

  • Be prepared for the unexpected and know who to call in an emergency.
  • Always think about safety first.
  • Use your best judgment when a stranger offers to help. If you are uncomfortable, politely decline and wait for a family member or friend.
  • Pay it forward. Let your friends and family know that you’re willing to help in times of need.

If you really have a flat, check out our blog on College Skills: How to Change a Tire.