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Let’s say you’re driving up the I-15 on the way up to Farmington, Utah to visit friends and family — you’re driving along, minding your own business, when you blow a tire. Bummer. But no worries, your lawyer friend assure you, you’ve got a spare, a wrench and a tire jack in the back — you can put off getting that tire replaced for a good while longer, right?

Well, not exactly. While spare tires can be a lifesaver in the event of a minor auto accident, they simply aren’t made to be driven on for long periods of time. Avoid a more serious auto accident situation — and maybe even a call to your lawyer — and get your spare tire changed out at your earliest convenience.

There are two main types of spare tires: donuts, or space-savers, and full size spare tires. Donuts are smaller spare tires that are lightweight and don’t take up too much room in the back of a car, so they’re more convenient and easier for the average person to put on. However, the reductions in size and weight make for a corresponding reduction in stability and durability compared to the average tire.

Donuts typically top out at 55 mph, and are really only designed to hold up for less than 50 miles. For internal structure, a typical donut only has two belts of steel and one layer of polyester in the tread — about half that of a normal tire. Don’t even think about towing a trailer; donuts have significantly lower load ratings than regular tires. You might be able to make it to Farmington and back on a donut, but any more than that is pushing it — just ask your local auto accident lawyer.

The second type of spare tire is the full size spare tire. These tires are heavier, take up more space, and are more durable than donuts. Full size spare tires can last much longer than the average donut; however, they often use a different kind of tread or rubber than the rest of your car’s tires. This can negatively affect your car’s handling, anti-lock brakes and traction control. While full size spare tires are more similar to the rest of your car’s tires, you should still change them out at your nearest tire shop in Farmington.

Spare tires can be a godsend in a minor auto accident situation, but don’t rely on them for any more than their intended purpose. Drive on that spare straight to the auto shop — only once it’s fixed should you worry about driving to visit your local Farmington-area lawyer.

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