You can avoid flats.
You need good tires, maintenance, and care.
And good tires help you go easier and faster.
Tire resistance is much more important than previously thought. For most riders, changing the tires is by far the biggest improvement they can make to their bikes’ performance. — Performance of Tires by Jan Heine from Off The Beaten Path
Paying for three tube changes could have bought a good enough tire.
Good tires have more benefit than thick tubes, tires liners, or sealant.
Your local bike shop can recommend a good tire for your location and use. On the road a smooth tread rolls faster and stops quicker. And a wider tire rolls easier.
Check your tires regularly. The thorn that hasn’t gone through yet, needs to come out now. (Don’t wipe your tires while riding: you’ll fall.)
Avoid thorns and debris. Don’t get close to the curb. Stay out of alleys. Stay off the grass. Stay off sidewalks. Stay to the center of trails. Avoid construction sites.
If you ever ride farther than a comfortable walk to help, you want to know how to change a tube — and have one.
Check the pressure before every ride. Under-inflated tires cause problems. Tires too hard jolt. A nice shop will line up the pressure rating on the side of the tire with the valve. Use less than the maximum pressure in the rear, and even less in front. If you sprint or climb often, you will want a bit more pressure. Carry a small pump and experiment to find the best pressure for how you ride.
Interestingly, the rider’s subjective evaluation of comfort mostly matched the test results (with the exception of the suspension forks). The more comfortable the rider was, the smaller were the suspension losses. — Suspension Losses by Jan Heine from Off The Beaten Path