There’s a different kind of ‘gator’ problem in Texas. This one is terrorizing roads, and is responsible for many dangerous accidents.
Road gators, or bits of tires that look like an alligator’s back, have been known to smash through windshields, knock against bikers, and make drivers lose control of their vehicles. This problem is common in interstate highways, where the speed limit is usually 70 or 75 mph.
But just how dangerous can these bits of tires be? And what do they have to do with semi trucks?
Road Gators: What Are They and Why Are They Dangerous?
As mentioned, road gators are bits of tires that have come off – more specifically, treads that have separated from the tires of large vehicles, such as big rigs.
While there’s a common misconception that these are caused by retreaded tires, experts say that 70 percent of grown road gators (those reaching 8 to 10 feet long) are due to low tire pressure.
In the case of semi trucks, as they are massive and heavy to begin with, low tire pressure expands the problem. This, along with repeatedly hitting curbs, potholes, and other road hazards, makes the tire susceptible to becoming a road gator.
Another factor that contributes to the problem is the weather. Road gators become more rampant in the summer than in rainy months. The heat, combined with uneven roads, high speeds, and heavy load, will soon give birth to these dangerous beasts. If drivers of other vehicles are not careful, they could give rise to baby road gators, too.
Perhaps the biggest issue is that most drivers (whether of semi trucks or cars) are not aware that the treads of their tires are already becoming loose. It often takes awareness and long-term experience to know if you’re about to give birth to a road gator. But if you think your tires might be acting funny, slowly pull over on the side of the road to inspect your wheels.
If you encounter one while on the highway, you might panic and lose control of the vehicle. Quickly swerving or changing lanes to avoid it might put you in a collision course with other vehicles. However, being on its way might damage your car and give you a shock. When it comes to gators, it seems there’s no win-win solution.
How To Be Safe from Road Gators
So how do you stay safe from these road monsters? There’s no surefire way, but by staying alert and observant, you may decrease your chances of getting into an accident because of road gators.
As these commonly come from semi trucks, be sure to follow road safety rules when sharing the road with them:
- Always prepare yourself to meet a road gator at anytime, especially during the summer. If you spot vehicles slowing down, or if you pass by a semi on the side of the road, assume that there might be a road gator ahead. Slow down and remain alert!
- Don’t swerve too much to avoid them. Decrease your speed but maintain control of your car. By swerving a few inches, you can already keep away from road gators and stay safe. Speeding is one of the main causes of accidents – so don’t panic!
- Keep your distance when driving with semi trucks. Steer clear of their blind spots and avoid tailgating at all times. If you hear odd sounds or howls when near big rigs, watch out! A road gator might be born any minute.
As it’s going to be difficult dealing with road accident involving road gators from semi trucks, it’s best to consult a Texas truck accident attorney for legal advice. A professional can help you figure out the best logical steps to take. Talk to a legal expert today.