How Safe is Driving on a Donut Tire?

If you have passed your driving test, you sure know what a donut tire is. While a donut tire comes as backup solution in almost all cars, there is always something that car owners wonder – How safe is driving on a donut tire? While different people may have different estimates of the degree of its safety, there is always consensus about one thing. Everyone agrees that it is safe to drive with a donut tire but not for long.

Also, if you ask how long can you drive on a donut, the answer is the shortest time and distance possible.

And, there are reasons that support the stance that it is not safe to drive on a donut tire for a long time.

Why Driving on a Donut Tire isn’t Safe in the Long Run

There are a number of areas where a donut tire can interfere while it’s on. Here are the major ones, also being the major reasons why you must not drive on a donut tire.

Avoiding driving on a donut tire
Know about driving on a donut tire in a long run (photo source: Ford Focus RS Forum)

Hampers the Speed

Donut tires do not come with the same as regular car tires. They are designed to perform the same ways as them. This is why you cannot drive them as fast as the conventional ones. The reason is that these are smaller than the other tires that fit your car. You must not, therefore drive them any faster than 50mph. Going faster than that is one among the dangerous things drivers must avoid.

It Makes Braking, Cornering, and Handling

Since the tire is compact and not something that can replace a gone tire altogether, there will be some major problems that you will face driving with it in place. It will decrease the braking and handling control, apart from making your car not-so-stable while you cut corners. The side on which you mount the donut tire will dip because of its small size. And, you will feel a pull right there.

You Move with All Safety Systems Disabled

All the electronic safety controls are likely to become inefficient or defunct when you are rolling on a donut tire. You are likely to lose electronic traction control as well as stability control while you are driving on a donut tire. They will work fine once you have the prescribed tire on.


How Far Can You Drive on a Donut?

Not too far, just as we told you in the beginning. Each car owner mentions this span in your car owner’s manual. Exceeding that recommended limit can lead you to all the risks that we’ve stated above.

Process of driving on a donut tire
Driving on a donut tire for short period of time (photo source: Don Jacobs Automotive @ Youtube)

If you ask how many miles can you put on a donut tire, depending on what tire you have, the maximum distance will range from 50 miles to 70 miles. And, that is the maximum you must drive on a donut tire. You must change is as soon as possible. That is how it should be.

So, take this driving advice and don’t treat your spares like your regular tires.

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