Fatal crashes are often caused by truck gators because they leave huge pieces of jagged rubber with metal bands on the road after a tire blowout.
Dangers of Truck Gators
Large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are commonly equipped with huge tires and tire treads known as “gators,” resembling the long, jagged jaws of an alligator. Truck gators are one of the most dangerous types of road debris found on U.S. roads and highways. When a big rig has a tire blowout, enormous pieces of jagged rubber and metal bands used to strengthen tires are scattered across the highway.
Truck gators cause thousands of serious accidents seen by truck accident lawyers each year. When vehicles are traveling at high speeds, it’s often impossible for drivers to avoid hitting large debris in the road. To dodge gators, drivers often swerve into other lanes, speed up suddenly, or slam on their brakes. If a vehicle hits a gator, the large piece of rubber can curl and wrap around the vehicle’s tires or get caught in the vehicle’s axle causing the driver to lose control. In some cases, gators pass harmlessly under one car, only to fly into the air and hit the windshield of the car behind it.
Liability in Truck Gator Crashes
Whether an accident is accidental or intentional, the vehicle’s owner and/or driver is usually legally responsible for the accident. When truck gators cause a crash, the trucking company is almost always legally at fault for two main reasons:
Trucking companies are responsible for fleet safety. Tires must be inspected for proper air pressure, safe treads, balanced tires, and aligned wheels. Failure to inspect tires before each departure may result in a negligence lawsuit by a truck accident lawyer if accidents and injuries occur from tire-related crashes. Routine tire inspections are especially important for big rigs equipped with truck gators that leave dangerous debris in a blowout.
Generally, road debris is the responsibility of the driver whose vehicle left it on the road. Drivers are responsible for dealing with items that fall out of their vehicles and debris from tire blowouts. If truck gators are left in the road after a big rig tire blowout, removing the debris is the responsibility of the truck driver and/or the trucking company. If gators cause a crash, the truck driver and/or trucking company may be liable for property damages and injuries.