Flat Tires On Highway 401, In The Winter, What To Do
You are driving on Highway 401 in Toronto GTA area and realize you have a flat tire, in the middle of the night, on -20°C, while there is a snow storm. What should you do?
First thing's first! Immediately turn on your blinkers and slowdown gradually, without slamming the brakes! Pull over on the shoulder, or drive slowly towards the nearest shoulder area. Be aware that due to construction, in some areas on 401there is no shoulder available, so, with your hazard lights on, try to make it to a safe area.
Ideally, you should have your donut in the car (spare wheel), and all necessary tools to change your flat tire. If you don't, then more than likely you have to tow the car, or OPP will have it towed. If you do have the spare wheel, tools and expertise to change your flat tire, do it yourself. Make sure you have a safety vest on, the hazard lights are on, and before you jack the car, clean up the snow so the jack sits on the asphalt, not on the snow or ice.
If you don't know how to change your flat tire, either call your roadside assistance provider, or an on-demand roadside assistance service if you don't have permanent coverage through CAA or other similar services. How to find an independent roadside assistance service? You can try searching on google for "flat tire service near me", or other search terms such as "roadside assistance service". If you are on the highway, keep your engine running and stay warm while you do this.
More than likely, a tow truck will approach you really quick, as many tow truck companies have tow trucks on stand by near the highways and they will see you on Waze as a "stopped vehicle on shoulder". If the weather is really bad, accept the help the tow truck offers you (usually they will tow you to the nearest shop or safe area of your choice}, but make sure you negotiate the price, as on bad weather days or nights, prices are kinda "spicy". Unless the tow truck was dispatched by your roadside assistance provider (if you have one), the tow truck driver will only tow you, not change your flat tire on the highway.
If you did manage to find a fat tire service to attend your location for a reasonable price, calmly wait for their arrival in your car, keeping warm, with your hazard lights on, and advice Police or any tow truck driver that help arrangements have been made, and roadside assistance is on the way!
If you happen to travel through Durham Region, Markham - Stouffville, or Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, we can help you with our flat tire service anytime!
In any case, think SAFETY at all times!