Previously, we examined the issue of tire blowouts: the phenomenon where a tire is under so much friction that it bursts, causing the truck to lose control. While that explosive moment frequently causes crashes, what it leaves behind can sometimes cause further trouble down the road. But what exactly is this trucking hazard, and what does it mean for your safety? Allow us to explain.
When a truck tire fails, pieces of the sidewall tumble into traffic at highways speeds. These scraps are often called “road gators” because some say the tread texture looks like an alligator’s back.
What you might not realize is that these road gators are extremely dangerous. Not only are they dangerous when the blowout occurs, they remain a hazard until they are removed from the road. That’s because truck tires are huge; a single road gator can weigh between 50-100 pounds, and they’re interwoven with belts of sharp wire.
Handling a Road Gator
If you come upon a road gator, you need to be cautious. If you hit it directly, you could lose control, inadvertently cause a flat tire, or damage your undercarriage. Yet, if you try to avoid this hazard, you could cause even more problems.
According to AAA, roughly 4-in-10 crashes involving road debris were caused by drivers swerving to avoid an object in the road rather than actually colliding with the object. The problem is that insurance companies have a negative outlook on both outcomes.
If you hit the object and cause a crash, the insurance company may argue that the crash was avoidable since the debris is a static object in the road. Yet if you swerve to avoid it and cause a crash, you will almost certainly be found at fault because you could have stayed in your lane.
As you can see, handling road gators can get complicated, especially if it leads to a serious crash. Unless you know where the tire came from, you’re unlikely to hold the trucking company responsible. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult an experienced truck accident attorney who can tell your story and help in your fight for justice.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or wrongful death in a trucking accident, we are here for you. To discuss your crash with an experienced Kansas City Truck accident attorney from Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, send us an email or call us at (816) 542-5999 for a free consultation.