Image via the Houston Chronicle 

Cars have a lot of important parts on them and in them. Some, like the radio or maybe one of your forward gears, you can live without. Others, like your tires, you really cannot. Please do not experiment with this hypothesis at home, or on a busy Houston highway.

The Houston Chronicle reports that a woman named Nicole Stach was driving back from lunch one day last week when she saw an Infiniti G35 or G37 driving slowly on the highway without a tire. And while Stach saw what was wrong with the car, she doesn’t seem to think others did. From the Chronicle:

“No other cars seemed to notice at all, and it was shocking how unaware everyone was of such a potential hazard with the car trying to merge while completely missing a tire,” Stach told Chron.com Tuesday afternoon.

Video of the car, which at least had its emergency lights on, driving along a Houston highway can be seen on the Houston Chronicle’s website. But driving without a tire is a terrible thing to do, no matter how important you think it is to get to a destination. That’s because a lot can go wrong if you keep driving, thinking that round rim will do just as well as the tire for at least a little while.

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For one, grinding on that rim is going to earn you an expensive replacement. If you grind the rim itself too hard and end up dragging other parts of your car along the road, you’re in for a far more expensive job.

More importantly than the money you’re grinding on the road along with your rim, not pulling over to address a missing tire can make you wind up coming to a stop in an area where there’s traffic, which has the potential to end in a nasty wreck—especially on a highway. If no one notices the missing tire or emergency lights as Stach said, they’ll really be in for it if you randomly come to a stop.

So, yeah, tires are round and rims are round. That does not mean that rims will substitute for a missing tire, on the highway, when you’re driving in a large city and there is a lot of traffic around you. Please do not drive around without a tire.

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