How Common Are Flat Tires? (Numbers, Why & How To Avoid)

Whether you’re experiencing far more flat tires than usual or are simply determining whether you need a repair kit or not, knowing the statistics behind flat tires is essential for making these decisions.

Everyone will likely experience flat tires regularly. However, how many flat tires are normal? When does the frequency of flat tires indicate an underlying problem? Here’s what I was able to figure out!

How Common Are Flat Tires?

On average, motorists will get 5 flat tires in their lifetime. In some situations, car owners might be unlucky and get 2 – 3 flat tires in a single year, which is just a coincidence. However, if you keep getting flat tires, it could be caused by bad roads, excessive driving, low tire pressure, or poor wheel alignment.

To learn more about why your tires might be going flat, how to detect it, and more, keep on reading!

Can Tires Randomly Go Flat?

There are several reasons you may experience a flat tire – but your tire randomly going flat is not one of them.

In most cases, puncture holes are pretty easy to identify. However, poor seals, improperly fighting tire valves, and a malfunctioning repair can cause flat tires.

As you might expect, some of these causes are difficult to determine. For instance, you may have gotten your tire repaired miles ago, only for it to malfunction now. In these cases, it may seem like your tire is randomly going flat.

However, there is absolutely some reason for your tire going flat – even if you don’t know what that reason is.

Why Your Tires Might Be Always Going Flat

Why Your Tires Might Be Always Going Flat

In some cases, your tires may go flat a bit more often than you’d expect. Understandably, these situations can seem a bit suspicious.

Statistically, the average person gets about five flat tires in their lifetime. If you’re getting more than one a year, there may be an underlying reason for your flat tires – and not just bad luck!

Firstly, tire age can be a contributing factor. The NHTSA recommends changing your tires every six to ten years regardless of wear.

To determine tire age, check the TIN – the last four digits indicate the week and year the tire was made.

Secondly, dry rot can severely damage your tire’s sidewall. Unlike what the name suggests, this type of rot isn’t caused by bacteria or fungus.

Instead, several conditions can cause dry rot, including:

  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Extended disuse
  • Low tire pressure
  • Direct UV damage

Thirdly, improper tire pressure can lead to flat tires. In some cases, you may not even know that your tire pressure is low. In some cases, your Tire Pressure Monitoring System may malfunction, leading to more flat tires.

At the same time, a malfunctioning TPMS system can make you believe that your tire is low on pressure when it isn’t.

Fourthly, a leaky tire bead can cause flat tires in some cases. In other words, the rubber edge where your tire fits the wheel can leak. Usually, this area is airtight – but it can malfunction.

Usually, these leaks are the result of improperly installed tires. For this reason, we highly recommend seeking professional help when putting your tires on.

Finally, a faulty valve stem can also cause flat tires. Specifically speaking, the valve of a wheel regulates tire pressure.

In some cases, these valves can malfunction. Even if the tire is OK, the valve can become damaged by moisture, road salts, and UV rays.

In other words, they get old too!

When damaged, these valves can lead to low tire pressure, leading to flat tires.

How Many Flat Tires Happen in a Year?

How Many Flat Tires Happen in a Year?

There are 220 million flat tires in the United States every year. In other words, that is about seven tire punctures each second.

That puts you at a decent risk of getting a flat tire yourself this year. Therefore, we highly recommend knowing how to change a flat tire and having the correct equipment nearby (which about 60% of people don’t know how to do).

Of course, having a spare and the correct tools needed to change a flat tire is also essential.

How Often Should You Get a Flat Tire?

Sadly, there is not a certain number of flat tires you should be getting. However, if you’re getting more than one a year, it may be time to look at some chronic problems that lead to flat tires.

The average person should get about five flat tires in their lifetime – though this does depend on many factors.

If you drive your car a lot, you’ll likely get more. If you only drive it occasionally, you’ll get less!

To know more about tires, you can also see our posts on how long do run-flat tires last, underinflated tires, and how do nails get in tires.

Conclusion

In the average second, seven tire punctures result in flat tires in the United States. After adding them all up, this is about 220 million flat tires in the United States alone.

Additionally, each person will experience about five flat tires in their lifetime. Of course, there are a lot of variables that go into these statistics. For instance, the more you drive your car, the more likely you will experience a flat tire.

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