How Far Can You Drive On A Flat Tire Before Damaging The Rim

By David Barlow
Last updated: Nov 24, 2022
How far can you drive on a flat tire

Flat tires are common. This mishap is more likely to happen when you’re using worn tires as they are more vulnerable to punctures. It’s unsafe to drive on a flat tire; however, you might have no choice but continue your drive to reach a safe place.

What Are The Causes Of A Flat Tire?

All kinds of reasons! It can be a gradual deflation due to loose valves and invisible punctures. Or it can be a serious immediate impact that causes your tire to blow out on site. Either way, it is always wise to have it repaired as soon as possible. 

How Far Can You Drive On A Flat Tire Without Damaging The Rim? 

It is possible to keep going a couple of hundred yards even on the most pitiful tire

You should drive for no more than 2 miles, which should be enough for you to find an auto shop or get out of a heavy traffic road and call for support. 

The speed is also crucial. It is advisable to maintain a steady speed at about 20 mph so that your car won’t be shocked and get out of control. 

How To Drive With A Flat Tire?

Below is the guidance on how you should drive with flat tires.

A flat tire
A flat tire

Slow Down

First, slowly reduce the car’s speed down to 20mph. Turn on your emergence lighting so that other people know that you’re having a situation. 

This step is compulsory because since you’re slowing down, others who are unaware of your circumstance may crash into you. Giving some signals would avoid that.

Stay Away From The Busy Road 

You may want to get out of the busy road. Look for a clearing to pull over or a safe spot if you’re on a freeway. 

Keep Your Vehicle On Flat Surface

Try to stay away from potholes, steep inclines and keep your car on smooth flat ground. If you are heading downhill, let the car coast gently on its own with your foot putting on the brake. 

Avoid Steep Curves

Rotating the steer too suddenly won’t be good for the tire and may cause the car to stumble and roll on the road. 

Note: Your situation might not be as described, and you may have to think on your feet. As long as you keep going at a low speed and your emergency flashers are on, you’ll be able to safely deal with the issue. 

What Happens If You Drive On A Flat Tire?  

Is it safe to drive on a flat tire? No, it’s not. There are good reasons why experts don’t root for driving with flat tires. So, how bad is it to drive on a flat tire?

Tears The Tire

Obviously, without the support of air, solely rubber tires will not be able to shoulder the entire weight of a moving car. It can crack, be disfigured, or even torn to pieces. Even if your tire is of high quality, it can still wear significantly, sometimes beyond repair.

A severely damaged tire
A severely damaged tire

Ruins The Rim 

The rim and tire with no air in between will come into direct contact with each other. While the friction is happening, both the rim and tire can be damaged, and a tilted rim will cost you a great deal of money. 

Damages Your Car 

Other parts of your car, like brake lines, can also be affected. Hence, a flat tire poses a high risk of an accident if you persist in driving on it for too long.


It is difficult to know when a tire will go flat. Whenever you find yourself in trouble, please keep in mind the above key points, drive slowly, and drive at a small distance.

David Barlow

Automotive Experts at World Tire Review

Hi everyone, I’m David (Tireguy). I believe that finding tires can lead to a lot of confusion and frustration for almost every driver. That’s why I would like to bring my experiences and knowledges to develop World Tire Review blog, it will give people a deeper understanding of what choosing the right tire is really like!