Puncture on the roadside? How to stay safe

Trish Whelan

Reporter:

Trish Whelan

Puncture on the roadside? How to stay safe

Summer is the busiest time on Irish roads and motorist should now familiarise themselves what to do in an emergency the Irish Tyre Industry Association advise

MOTORISTS should study how to use their tyre inflator kits before they have to use them.

That’s one of the points in a list of advice to motorists who suffer a puncture while out on the road, from the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA).

Many recent model cars don’t come with a spare wheel, and few owners take the time to read the instructions on the inflator kit until they need it.

The ITIA has launched an initiative to help keep tyre repair personnel safe while working on a roadside puncture.

The Roadside Emergency Action Concerning Tyres (REACT) involves commercial tyre technicians undergoing a specialist training day, on foot of which they are accredited with a REACT card, which the ITIA would like to see become mandatory for roadside fitters.

Meanwhile, the organisation also wants motorists to take their own precautions when faced with a flat on a busy road.

“The motorist needs to be always mindful of the vulnerable position they may find themselves in when they experience a flat tyre on a motorway,” says Donal Dempsey, the new Chief Executive of the ITIA.

The advice includes:

1. Park as near to the left-hand edge of the hard shoulder as possible. If you cannot do this, warn other drivers by switching on your hazard warning lights

2. If available, use the roadside phone to contact the Garda as this lets them know your exact location. Note many insurance policies now come with a breakdown assistance service.

3. Do not place any warning device such as a triangle on the motorway.

4. Wear a high visibility vest, ideally one with sleeves (always carry one in your car).

5. Do not walk on the motorway. Leave your car through the left-hand door and make sure your passengers do the same. Leave animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under control on the verge.

6. Await help on the embankment side of the motorway, well behind any crash barrier.

7. Most new vehicles come with an inflator kit instead of a spare wheel — make sure you know who to use it!