Thursday, February 07, 2008

Death at 70mph

I'm one of those people who doesn't necesarily understand the full scope of the situation until after it passes. 5:20 Tuesday afternoon I'm driving home as usual. I'm a little over a mile from my exit and I decide to pass a semi as we are starting up an incline. As soon as I switched lanes and started accelerating I knew something was wrong.

My first thought was that I had hit the airflow coming off of the truck. My steering wheel went to jello, but I was able to complete my manuver and catch my exit ramp a few minutes later. As the car started to decelerate I could feel the thump-thump-thump of a flat tire. So I pulled over to a parking lot at the top of the ramp and changed the tire, with some assistance from a kind passer-by. I couldn't find anything wrong with the tire, it didn't appear that I had run over anything. I threw the flat in the trunk and went on my way.

Later on in the night I sent an email to my boss to let her know I would be late arriving to work as I needed to get the tire fixed or replaced. It finally occured to me that my tire spontaneously went flat. . .AT 70 MILES PER HOUR.

Here I thought I was blessed with 60 degree weather when I was changing the flat.

Somewhat anti-climactically it turns out the valve stem on the tire had failed and I had to replace the tire. Fortunately the tire was covered with a road hazard warranty so the replacement didn't cost much more than it would have to fix the flat.