Sometimes, your tires may experience shredding and blowouts and leave chunks behind. Unattended, these pieces can cause serious accidents.
The road gators are tread pieces from the truck tires and much bigger than tire debris, and therefore more dangerous based on their sheer size. Gators are pretty common on the highway.
You see, high speeds multiply the heat and friction, and these are factors that affect the structure of your tires. High temperatures and heavyweight experienced by the back wheels increase this risk a couple of folds over. The more the pressure, the more the tire wears out, and the risk of blowout increases even more in cases of under or overinflation.
Other factors that can cause tire-shredding include driving habits, age of the tire, and weather conditions. Indeed, the wrong type of tire for the weather or conditions exposes you to risks. That is why tire shredding or tire debris is typical during wintertime when the tires are iced over.
What makes gators and tire debris dangerous is the speed involved. At high speeds, the piece of the debris can break the windshield of another vehicle and cause injury.
Also, a gator or a piece of tire debris can attach to another vehicle’s tires and fly off, impacting animals, pedestrians, and other vehicles. They cause drivers to swerve dangerously to avoid them and cause crashes. Tire debris can cause a blowout of your tires, especially if they are not in good condition, or fly onto your windscreen in the form of a tar-like substance. Your wipers can get stuck to it and make for an unpleasant driving experience.
Another reason that road debris is dangerous is its effect on the environment. Lately, global warming has been getting much attention, and for a good reason.
Rubber tires have a high zinc content which increases the PH of the soil. This is never good for the ecosystem. The debris can block the roadside drainage, and the pools formed become harboring locations for pests and diseases.
For the safety of others, don’t leave any tire debris lying on the road.
- You can prevent tire debris by simply keeping them in good condition. Inspect the tires regularly and replace them whenever necessary. Get a brand new tire when you notice some bulges or signs of wear on the sidewall. Don’t overlook it, and hope to push in a few more miles to reduce the cost. It could cost your life.
- Overinflating the tires can cause a blowout. Maintain the recommended pressure and don’t go over the maximum provided by the manufacturer.
- Underinflation is also not any good as it can also cause a blowout. Normally, a low tire pressure makes any obstacle on the road dangerous.
- A tire blowout can occur as a result of various obstacles or elements on the road. For example, driving fast on a sudden pothole is the surest way of having a tire blowout. Stay focused and keep your sight on the road. If you notice a pothole, take your foot off the accelerator and attempt to go round it.
If there are branches on the road, reduce the speed and change lanes if possible. The same case applies to shards of metal or glass.
- Definitely, the trucking industry makes the rubber last longer through retreads. But limit these retreads to two or three, and anything more than this is a sure sign that it’s time for new tires. Don’t use the tire when they become worn and old.
- Tires will always carry a variable amount of weight, and wheel rotation reduces the risk of some wearing out too much or unevenly. Check your manual on when to rotate the tires.
- Keep an eye out for swerving and brake lights. Other vehicles may be avoiding debris or other obstacles on the road. And if you are driving in a zone with many trucks, be more vigilant and look out for tire debris.
- Avoid the temptation of overloading the vehicle to go fewer trips. When the load is too heavy, the risk of a tire shred or puncture is higher when in contact with small debris or gator on the road.
- Maintain the correct speed limit to avoid hitting objects on the road. When the speeds are too high, it becomes difficult to avoid road debris, which places you and others at risk. Follow the road safety regulations.
- Use the correct type of tires for the weather. During winter, winter tires are the best as they are designed for snow and ice. Chances of shredding are therefore significantly reduced.
It is always sensible to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. The likelihood of truck tires blowing out is high because of their sheer size. Therefore, stay at a safe distance if you are driving behind.
Indeed, the vehicle will be harder to steer after a blowout but keep your hands steadily on the wheel. You may swerve to one side but stay calm.
Keep in mind that a blown-out tire will take some maneuverability away, but don’t turn the wheel or brake abruptly in panic. It will only make it worse. Don’t make any sudden movements that will cause other vehicles to hit you. Instead, try as much as possible to control the car and bring it to a stop slowly.
Use your blinkers and stop at the curb. Place the emergency triangles at a safe distance to warn other road users, and change the tire if it’s possible, or call for road assistance.
In case of a blowout, the trucking company or the driver is responsible for any damage to other vehicles on the road due to the debris. Remove any tire waste as soon as possible to avoid problems.
If you cause road debris or see one, inform the authorities to remove it. Don’t attempt to remove it on your own on the highway, as it is hazardous.