Highway roads are full of unpredictable incidents, even sometimes, the local routes and parking lots are. Broken glasses are one of them. Many people worry about what to do if a piece of glass is stuck in a tire while driving.
If your car tires are manufactured after 1970, there is nothing serious to worry about. Since then, most car tire manufacturers have built their units with high-quality protective rubber, which can resist regular sharp contact.
However, there can be exceptions that you can’t ignore completely. For example, if your automobile tires were manufactured before the 70s or are worn out due to heavy use, driving over broken glass might pop the tires.
Whatever the situation is, in this post, I’ll go over all precautions you should follow to avoid any sharp debris-related accidents during car driving. Let’s dig more into it.
What Happens If You Drive Over Broken Glasses?
Once driving over glass, screws, or other sharp-end materials was a nightmare. But with a set of modern steel-belted radial tires, you hardly expect to witness any issues. These durable tires are built to resist the penetration of sharp contacts.
“Modern steel belt tires are 75% more robust than traditional tires. Hence, it’s rare you witness a blowout or flat tire.”
Also, modern tires are manufactured with synthetic rubber. It gives a step ahead of protection against those unexpected roadside materials.
But scenes go wrong when you ride with old, tuckered-out tires. If a piece of glass pricks the tire’s steel belt, initially, you won’t experience any sudden blowout or flat tire (at least, in the typical scenario).
Later, dirt and debris enter through this little hole, and the steel belt gets corrosion built up. As a result, the belt part gets separated from the tire’s tread. When this happens, your tires lose the protective shield against sharp materials. And your tires blow out eventually, and you end up with flat tires.
The most unfortunate thing is you can’t witness these issues at the early stage. Usually, the tires puncture within the next 5,000-15,000 miles of driving after the glass contact.
Types of Glass Cause Damages to Your Tires
As mentioned above, even though tires are cut and punctured-resistant, you might witness bad days. To understand when you’ll experience such nightmares, you’ve to know which kind of broken glasses commonly block your tracks.
Since roads are full of automobiles, and the accident rate is still rising (alone in the U.S., 6 million car accidents on average), the most broken glasses you can expect are car glasses.
Now, there is a good part. Nowadays, car glasses are made to be entirely shattered into tiny pieces if incidents take place. And usually, these smashed pieces are less likely to puncture your tire if you drive over.
Although what may worry you are the bottle glasses. Some undisciplined teenagers often break beer bottles on roads while enjoying their highway routes. Even some incidents are caused by elders as well.
“Recently, a truck driver fell off his loads of glasses on the South Road, causing several hours of chaos.”
When bottle glasses are smashed, they are separated into many sharp pieces, unlike car glasses. They’re robust and mostly angled after broken. You can check out this experiment on how champagne bottles break when riding your car over them.
If you drive over these glasses, they can easily prick your tires and will puncture them sooner or later.
What Should You Do When Tires Are Punctured by Broken Glass?
In any case, if you end up with a flat tire caused by broken glass, you should fix it asap after identifying it. Follow the below steps to repair a punctured tire in your home garage,
- Safety eyeglass
- Tire repair tool kit
- Air compressor
Step 1: Find the Hole and Prepare the Flat Tire
Alt Text 1: Locating the stuck glass in the tire
In general, the broken glass piece is supposed to be stuck in your tire rubber. Since they’re small in length, I’m assuming it didn’t dig inside the rubber tube.
“You can check whether the glass caused any leakage by applying some cap water on it. And check if it’s bubbling. If it does, meaning it has a leakage.”
The punctured tire requires enough air in order to ease the glass removal process. But as it has holes, it’ll leak air. Therefore, you need to connect your air compressor to your tire and pump in the air simultaneously.
Step 2: Remove Broken Glasses
Alt Text 2: Removing a broken glass from the tire with a plier
Use a plier to pull out the glass from your tire. It requires a bit of effort. When you get it out, the tire will flow out air due to the leakage. But because of the air compressor support, the tire won’t flatten.
Step 3: Enlarge the Hole
Alt text 3: Widen the hole with a T-handle spiral probe reamer
To continue with the repair, you need to broaden the tire hole. Use a reamer (which comes in with your tire repairing kit, also known as a T-handle insert tool) to proceed.
The process is easy to follow. You need to push it in and out of the hole.
Step 4: Close the Hole with Strips
Alt text 4: Attaching the sticky rubber strip to a T-handle insertion tool
Take one of the sticky rubber strips you got with the car tire repair kit. Take the strip insertion tool. There are two types of this – a T-handle and a flat handle. I prefer the first one.
Then feed the sticky rubber through the eye of the tool. Keep it halfway through. Now, apply some rubber cement to the strip. Push it into the hole following the image.
While doing this step, don’t push the strip all the way in. Leave it about ¾ of an inch sticking out. Then pull it out as soon as you reach the measurement.
Lastly, cut the excess strip lines with a knife. And that’s all you need to do. Check out the image below to find out how the strip looks inside the car tire.
Alt text 5: Viewing a sticky rubber strip inside a punctured tire
Frequently Asked Questions
Can glass get stuck in a tire?
Yes, broken glass gets stuck in a tire if you drive over it. However, it might not puncture the tire initially.
Can glass shards puncture regular tires?
It’s very unlikely that glass shards puncture your everyday tire. However, if the shards’ ends are very sharp, they may flatten the tires.
Is driving over broken glass safe?
Modern-day tires are resistant and safe to drive over broken glass. You don’t have to worry unless it’s a beer glass or sharper materials like screws.
What do you do if you run over glass?
You should inspect whether it’s stuck and created a prick in your tire after you run over the glass. If it’s stuck, use a plier to remove it. That way, you can find out whether there’s a leak. And if you find any leak, use a sticky rubber strip to repair the hole asap.
What can puncture tires?
Any sharp and strong object can puncture your tires. The most common ones are screws, broken beer bottle glasses, nails, etc.
In conclusion, if a piece of glass is stuck in a tire, there’s nothing to worry about, as modern tires can resist it. But if it’s stuck there for long, there’s a chance it’ll puncture the tires. Therefore, it’s wise to inspect your tire status regularly. Have a safe ride!