LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Have you gotten a flat tire this year? You’re not alone. Employees at Pop-A-Lock, a local roadside service company, say they’re seeing a big increase in calls across the board this year.
The general manager at Pop-A-Lock estimates they’ve had an estimated 50% increase in calls across the board. That includes dead batteries, people locking themselves out of the car or accidentally locking their loved ones in the car.
In October 2020, the company handled about 900 flat tires, this year managers say that number is almost doubled at 1,700.
AAA says it gets 68-78 calls for flat tires a day in Las Vegas, which is an increase from 2019-2020, but not a significant one.
The reason behind the increase is a mix of things: More people out on the roadway after staying at home for the pandemic, more people moving to Las Vegas and construction.
Whatever the reason, if you find yourself with a dead battery or flat tire, there are common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
“A lot of people, when they get a flat they panic and stop in the middle of the road. The best thing they can do is get out of the way, even if they have to drive a little bit on the rim. Just be in a safe place,” said Ikaika Pladera, locksmith manager at Pop-A-Lock.
Pladera says if you can avoid using the factory jack that’s already in your car. He says many of them aren’t very strong or stable and technicians have seen them fail, leading to cars dropping on people’s arms or legs.
You can find a more heavy-duty jack from spots like Harbor Freight for around $60.
When changing a tire, always set the emergency brake and block the tires with rocks or blocks to keep the vehicle from rolling.