Glass is often depicted in movies and television as being able to easily puncture and pop a tire. But does this trend actually reflect reality? Can glass pop a tire?
Glass cannot pop a tire. Tires are extremely resistant to punctures from glass as they are made with multiple body plies, each comprised of steel band, polyester, rayon, or nylon cords within a rubber layer. Body plies provide the flexibility and strength to resist punctures from glass.
Do you ever look at the glass strewn in parking lots and driveways and wonder if it could possibly do any harm?
While some people might be too intimidated to even take the time to investigate further, we’re here to tell you that you have no need for worry.
As a general rule, glass will not pop a tire, but there are some situations you should be wary of.
Today, we will be discussing whether or not broken glass can actually pop a tire. And just what kind of damage pieces of shattered windshields and bottles can really inflict on your tires.
Read on as we set out to burst the bubble surrounding this prevalent myth.
Is Glass Strong Enough to Pop a Tire?
Glass, in most forms, is simply not strong enough to pop a tire. It breaks on impact and doesn’t have the strength to puncture a tire in the majority of cases.
It’s likely that glass got this false reputation for being able to pop tires from our negative association with broken glass.
After all, glass can easily cause harm to a person when stepped on. So it’s natural to assume that it would have a similar harmful effect on rubber tires.
How to Avoid Popping Your Tire with Glass
In most cases, you don’t have to worry about glass immediately popping your tire should you drive over it, but what you do need to watch out for is glass lodged in the tread.
Any object lodged in your tread is hazardous to your driving, but glass lodged into the tread can work its way deeper into the tire as you continue to drive.
In fact, it’s possible for embedded glass to puncture your tire over time, so make sure to inspect each one of your tires should glass shatter under your wheels.
If you do need to drive over glass for any reason, drive slowly and avoid large sharp pieces where possible.
In the event of damage to your tires, contact a professional for assistance to patch or replace your tires.
While it’s rare, glass can damage your tires, and underinflated tires are a hazard to your safety on the road.
Can Car Tires Run Over Broken Glass?
Driving over broken glass may sound hazardous, surprisingly the thick rubber of a tire can be tough to cut through. Unless the glass is piled high and reaches your sidewall, you’ll most likely cruise on without any trouble.
The only danger is if the glass comes in contact with the sidewall.
Can Glass Cause a Cut in The Tire Sidewall?
The sidewall of a tire is extra thick, both for strength and so that the tire’s identifying information can be embossed on it.
However, the sidewall is actually the weakest point of a tire, making it particularly prone to punctures. And while highly unlikely, it is possible for broken glass to puncture the sidewall of a tire.
It would be rare indeed for glass to puncture your tire. But what you should be wary of, with both glass and other sharp objects, is the risk of embedding.
A shard embedded in your tire can puncture it if you continue to drive. The most prudent course of action is to remove it, or, if the situation is beyond your ability to fix, take your car to a mechanic.